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Drawing on expectancy-value theory, the present study examined the unique contributions of the four major value beliefs and self-concept on achievement, self-reported effort, and teacher-rated behavioral engagement in mathematics. In particular, we examined the multiplicative effects of self-concept and task values on educational outcomes using the latent moderated structural equation approach. Participants were 1,868 German ninth-grade students. The data analyses relied on a higher-order structure of value beliefs, which is suited to parsing the differential patterns of predictive relations for different value beliefs. The findings revealed that (a) self-concept was more predictive of achievement, whereas value beliefs were more predictive of self-rated effort; (b) self-concept and value beliefs emerged as equally important predictors of teacher-reported engagement; (c) among the four value beliefs, achievement was more associated with low cost, whereas effort was more associated with attainment value; and (d) latent interactions between self-concept and value beliefs predicted the three outcomes synergistically.


Institute for Positive Psychology and Education

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Open Access Journal Article

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Open Access

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.