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Profiles of Maladaptive School Motivation among High-Ability Adolescents: A Person-Centered Exploration of the Motivational Pathways to Underachievement Model

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

IntroductionThe Pathways to Underachievement model (PUM; Snyder & Linnenbrink-Garcia, 2013) is a person-oriented framework identifying two distinct patterns of self- and value beliefs that help explain underachievement among cognitively highly able students. This framework was developed to clear up inconclusive findings from variable-centered underachievement research, but has not been previously empirically tested.MethodsThe present study aimed to test the PUM by investigating (a) whether the predicted motivational profiles are evident among a sample of high-ability students (IQ ≥120) beginning secondary school in Flanders, Belgium (N=403, Mage = 12.2 years, 60.5% males) and (b) whether these profiles relate to students’ (dis)engagement from and (under)achievement in school, as assessed by the students, their parents and teachers, and school grades. Latent profile analysis was performed on five motivational dimensions: academic self-concept, self-worth contingency, task value beliefs, entity beliefs, and attainment/utility value, and outcomes were compared across profiles using the BCH method.ResultsLatent profile analysis identified four profiles, each involving a distinct patterns of motivational variables. Two of the profiles exhibited maladaptive variable patterns consistent with the distinct profiles theorized by the PUM. Furthermore, profile differences in (dis)engagement and (under)achievement outcomes generally corresponded with the predictions of the PUM across multiple perspectives.Conclusion This study found distinct maladaptive motivational profiles that were each linked to the outcomes hypothesized by the PUM. These findings establish empirically that there are qualitatively different types of high-ability underachievers, which supports the Pathways to Underachievement model and gives momentum to person-oriented analysis within underachievement research.
Tijdschrift: Journal of Adolescence
ISSN: 0140-1971
Volume: 88
Pagina's: 146 - 161
Jaar van publicatie:2021
Trefwoorden:Psychologie en gedragswetenschappen