"Gender by racial/ethnic intersectionality in the patterns of Adolescents’ math motivation and their math achievement and engagement"
Doctoral candidate Ta-yang Hsieh, Professor Sandra D. Simpkins, Distinguished Professor Jacquelynne S. Eccles published an article in Contemporary Educational Psychology assessing motivational beliefs.
The title of the article is “Gender by racial/ethnic intersectionality in the patterns of Adolescents’ math motivation and their math achievement and engagement.”
Hsieh researches adolescent development, educational underachievement, academic motivations, out-of-school learning, cultural competencies, and social interventions. Under the advisement of Simpkins, she studies the ecological factors of student academic motivation and underachievement.
Simpkins is a developmental psychologist, studying child and adolescent development. She researches how families, friendships, and social position factors (such as ethnicity and culture) shape adolescents’ organized after-school activities and motivation. She is currently working on research focused on the positive outcomes of youth’s participation in activities as well as the predictors and correlates of high school students’ STEM motivational beliefs. She is PI on grants from the John Templeton Foundation and the National Science Foundation to support positive development from childhood through young adulthood. Simpkins directs the Center for After School and Summer Excellence (CASE) and Project REACH and co-directs the After School Activities Project.
Eccles is a member of the National Academy of Education, a World Scholar at the University of London, Visiting Professor at the University of Tubingen, Germany, and Research Fellow at the Australian Catholic University, Sydney, Australia. Her academic research focuses on gender-role socialization, classroom influences on student motivation, and social development in the family and school context. She is internationally recognized for her development of the expectancy-value theory of motivation and her concept of stage-environment. Eccles directs UCI's Motivation and Identity Research Lab (MIRL).
Individuals' math motivational beliefs are theorized to shape their STEM achievement and engagement in high school and beyond. Combining situated expectancy-value theory and intersectionality framework, the goals of this study were to (a) identify the unique patterns of U.S. high school students' math motivational beliefs, (b) examine differences in the patterns based on the intersection of gender and race/ethnicity, and (c) test the extent to which these patterns predicted differences in students' math achievement and classroom behavioral engagement for each of the gender by racial/ethnic groups. The current study included 16,120 high schoolers (50% female; 63% White, 17% Latina/o, 11% Black, and 9% Asian Americans; Mage = 14.46 at Grade 9) from the High School Longitudinal Study. There were six unique patterns of students' math motivational beliefs: Overall High, Above Average but not Identified, Identified but Average Value, Average, Low Identity, and Overall Low. Pattern membership at the intersection of gender and race/ethnicity showed nuances that could not be represented by gender or race/ethnicity alone; for example, male and female Asian American adolescents had similar patterns, but many male and female adolescents of other racial/ethnic groups had different patterns. Adolescents' math motivational belief patterns were associated with their Grade 11 math achievement and behavioral engagement even after controlling for prior math achievement and family socioeconomic status, and the associated varied by the gender and racial/ethnic groups.