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Achievement Motivation: An Investigation of Adolescents' Achievement Patterns

Louis A. Castenell
American Educational Research Journal
Vol. 20, No. 4 (Winter, 1983), pp. 503-510
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1162809
Page Count: 8
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Achievement Motivation: An Investigation of Adolescents' Achievement Patterns
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Abstract

This study of 310 eighth graders attempted to assess whether adolescents of varying backgrounds differ in their levels of general and area-specific (school, peer, and home) achievement motivation. It also investigated whether adolescents are capable of maintaining differing levels of achievement motivation across their different areas of experience, and whether the capacity to do so varies with their race, socioeconomic status, and sex. The data were analyzed through a 2 × 2 × 2 analysis of variance. The findings indicated that there were significant differences on general measures of achievement motivation as well as on the area-specific measure. There were significant differences on a traditional general measure (EPPS) by race (white higher), sex (males higher), and social class (middle class higher). A new general measure reported significant differences by race (blacks higher) and sex (males higher). There were significant differences by race (blacks higher) and sex (males higher) in peer achievement motivation, but there were no significant class differences. The study suggests that race, sex, and class exercise a great influence on specific types of achievement behavior.

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