Comparing Mediated Effects of Motivational Beliefs in Learning Science of Adolescents in America and Singapore: A Structural Equation Modeling Approach

Qi, SuWei
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[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [December 2016]
American adolescents have been criticized to lack competency in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics compared to Asian countries, causing grave concerns in the country. To gain insights from psychological perspective in education, the present study examined the mediated effects of American adolescents’ motivational beliefs on science career aspiration as compared to their peers in Singapore. A structural equation modeling analysis was conducted for both countries using TIMSS data in 2011 to investigate the relationships among several key psychological constructs in learning science such as science self-efficacy, science self-concept, instrumental motivation and career aspirations. Findings revealed that (1) American adolescents’ science self-efficacy significantly predicted their career aspirations in science while Singaporean eighth graders’ science self-concept was a significant predictor for career aspirations; (2) adolescents’ instrumental motivation was more influenced by science self- efficacy rather than by science self-concept in two nations; (3) instrumental motivation positively mediated the relationships between science self-efficacy and career aspirations. Specifically, with introduction of instrumental motivation, American students’ science self-efficacy had both direct and indirect effects on career aspirations whereas Singaporean students’ science self-efficacy had only indirect effects on the outcome. Implications based on findings were discussed.
M.Ed. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2016.
Includes bibliographical references.
Mediation, Motivational beliefs, Structural equation modeling
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