Publication Date



Background: Students’ motivation is known to influence academic outcomes. However, there is a paucity of research showing the relative influences of motivational factors on short-term and long-term outcomes.

Purpose: The study investigates the relative influences of motivational factors – mastery goal orientation, value of schooling, and academic self-concepts (perceived competence in and affect to schoolwork) on four outcomes – rule acceptance, identity, general self-efficacy and achievement.

Sample: Students in grades 3 to 6 from six primary schools in the Sydney were surveyed (N = 979). The ages of the participants varied from 8 to 13 years (mean = 9.78).

Design and methods: Students completed a questionnaire and literacy and numeracy achievement tests. Structural equation modelling was used to examine the paths from four predictors to four outcomes.

Results: Whereas all four predictors were positively associated with all four outcomes, students’ mastery goal had stronger positive influences on self-efficacy and identity. Value, perceived competence and affect were found to influence outcomes in different ways – positive influences were found for value on achievement, rule-acceptance, and identity; for perceived competence on achievement and efficacy; and for affect on rule-acceptance and identity.

Conclusion: Mastery goal had stronger influences on long-term outcomes while other predictors are stronger for short-term outcomes. To facilitate short-term and long-term outcomes, all four motivational factors need attention.


Institute for Positive Psychology and Education

Document Type

Open Access Journal Article

Access Rights

Open Access

Grant Number


Included in

Education Commons