A structural model of cognitive-motivational variables as explanatory factors of academic achievement in Spanish Language and Mathematics
AbstractIn recent years, several explanatory models have been developed which attempt to analyse the predictive worth of various factors in relation to academic achievement, as well as the direct and indirect effects that they produce. The aim of this study was to examine a structural model incorporating various cognitive and motivational variables which influence student achievement in the two basic core skills in the Spanish curriculum: Spanish Language and Mathematics. These variables included differential aptitudes, specific self-concept, goal orientations, effort and learning strategies. The sample comprised 341 Spanish students in their first year of Compulsory Secondary Education. Various tests and questionnaires were used to assess each student, and Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) was employed to study the relationships in the initial model. The proposed model obtained a satisfactory fit for the two subjects studied, and all the relationships hypothesised were significant. The variable with the most explanatory power regarding academic achievement was mathematical and verbal aptitude. Also notable was the direct influence of specific self-concept on achievement, goal-orientation and effort, as was the mediatory effect that effort and learning strategies had between academic goals and final achievement.
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