The association of identity and motivation with students' academic achievement in higher education

E.E.M. Meens, Anouke W. E. A. Bakx, T.A. Klimstra, J.J.A. Denissen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Two main reasons for dropping out of higher education are making an erroneous educational choice (an identity commitment) and lack of motivation. This study examined whether identity formation and motivation among prospective students at the moment of choosing a bachelor's program (N = 8723) predicted their academic achievement in their first year. Participants were divided into four students' achievement groups (i.e., "successful dropouts", "successful stayers", "unsuccessful stayers", and "unsuccessful dropouts"). We examined whether identity and motivation separately predicted academic achievement, whether identity and motivation dimensions could be combined into new distinct profiles, and whether these new profiles predicted academic achievement. Results indicated that motivation was associated with academic achievement, whereas identity was not. Furthermore, five new combined motivation-identity profiles were identified (i.e. "moderately positive", "amotivated", "moderately negative", "autonomously achieved", and "controlled & troubled diffused"), which predicted academic achievement. In general, the moderately positive profile was positively and both the "amotivated" and "controlled & troubled diffused" profiles were negatively associated with academic achievement, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-70
JournalLearning and Individual Differences
Volume64
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • Identity formation
  • Motivation
  • Students' academic achievement
  • Higher education
  • SELF-DETERMINATION THEORY
  • INTRINSIC MOTIVATION
  • HIGH-SCHOOL
  • EXTRINSIC MOTIVATIONS
  • MEDIATING MECHANISMS
  • LATE ADOLESCENCE
  • GOAL PURSUITS
  • PROFILES
  • MODEL
  • COMMITMENT

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