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This study examined the relationship between mathematics expectancy (self-concept), value and student background variables in predicting educational outcomes. In particular, we investigated the effects of the interaction between expectancy and value on outcome variables and the mediating roles of expectancy and value. The research used data from the TIMSS database across three cohorts (1999, 2003, and 2007) to test an hypothesized model in Hong Kong, where the education system has experienced considerable changes over the period of these studies, and thus to provide a strong test of the generalizability of the findings. The results suggested that (a) gender difference in educational outcomes was partially explained by self-concept and utility value; (b) family socioeconomic status had a positive effect on educational outcomes, and some of this effect was mediated by expectancy and value; (c) higher self-concept, higher utility value, and their interaction, all contributed to higher educational outcomes.


Institute for Positive Psychology and Education

Document Type

Open Access Journal Article

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Open Access


© 2015. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license