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Goal Orientation and Motivational Patterns Among Underrepresented Minority Junior High School Students From Low-Income Immigrant Families in a College Preparation Program

Rinthapol, Nida
Degree Supervisor:
Richard P. Duran
Place of Publication:
[Santa Barbara, Calif.]
University of California, Santa Barbara
Creation Date:
Issued Date:
Education, Educational Psychology, Education, Multilingual, and Education, Middle School
Cluster analysis
Goal orientation
Middle school students
College preparation program
Dissertations, Academic and Online resources
Degree Grantor:
University of California, Santa Barbara. Education
Ph.D.--University of California, Santa Barbara, 2013

The focus of this study is the analysis and evaluation of critical transitions and critical conditions among underrepresented minority (URM) junior high school students from immigrant families participating in a program of academic improvement in Santa Barbara, CA. The study examined the 2 x 2 pattern of achievement goal orientation (Elliot & McGregor, 2001); motivational dispositions, including academic efficacy, academic self-handicapping, disruptive behavior, self-presentation of low achievement, and skepticism about the relevance of school for future success; and academic performance among junior high school minority students from low-income immigrant families participating in a college preparation program called Pathways. The validation of achievement goal orientation of these students was measured using psychometric methods as a means of ensuring its validity and reliability. The students' goal orientation was identified by using a cluster analysis method and later linked to student academic motivation and achievement.

The cluster analysis identified four clusters of students with different goal orientation profiles in the math classroom subject and five clusters in the English classroom subject. Despite the slight differences across the four profiles, certain aspects of the goal orientation patterns exhibited by the groups were shared across the two domains (i.e., math and English classroom subjects). Students who exhibited a pattern in which mastery-approach and performance-avoidance goals were dominant showed the most positive motivational and achievement profile. In contrast, students who belonged to flat or semiflat goal orientation profiles, where none of any type of goals was dominant, showed negative academic beliefs, strategies, and lower academic outcomes. While students whose flat profile were high in all goals performed slightly better than those in the profile that scored low in all goals, nevertheless, both of the flat goal orientation profiles exhibited lower academic motivation and achievement than students with at least one dominant goal. The finding also illustrated the relationship between goal orientation profiles and students' sociodemographic characteristics.

The analysis of students' achievement goal orientation in connection to students' academic-related perceptions, beliefs, and strategies is crucial in understanding how students learn and process information, and how we can further improve an academic preparation program, such as Pathways, by tailoring it to the needs of students from historically underrepresented groups and enhance their access to higher education.

Physical Description:
1 online resource (195 pages)
UCSB electronic theses and dissertations
Catalog System Number:
Inc.icon only.dark In Copyright
Copyright Holder:
Nida Rinthapol
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