Socially oriented achievement goals of Chinese university students in Singapore: Structure and relationships with achievement motives, goals and affective outcomes

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Abstract:

Contemporary literature on culture, self, and motivations (Markus & Kitayama, 1991) suggests that in collectivistic cultures, individual achievement is interdependent of one's social others. We proposed that this cultural characteristic could be exemplified in the achievement goal orientation and tested the notion with university students in a collectivistic community—Singapore. A socially oriented achievement goal construct was developed by taking into consideration the significant social others in the students' lives. A measuring instrument was established with a sample of Singaporean Chinese university students (N = 196; 144 females and 52 males); its relationships to achievement motives, goals, and consequences were examined. Although the socially oriented achievement goal items were originally constructed from four categories of social others, confirmatory factor analysis suggested a unifactor structure. Results showed that the socially oriented goal was related positively with students' performance goal, mastery goal, and competitive motive; it bore no relationship to mastery motive, work ethic, and interest in learning; and it predicted negatively future engagement. After the effects of mastery and performance goals were controlled for, the socially oriented goal did not predict test anxiety. Les ecrits contemporains sur la culture, le soi et les motivations (Markus & Kitayama, 1991) suggerent que, dans les cultures collectivistes, l'accomplissement individuel est interdependant de l'environnement social de l'individu. Nous avons propose que cette caracteristique culturelle puisse etre presente dans l'orientation de but d'accomplissement. Nous avons teste cette notion aupres d'etudiants universitaires d'une communaute collectiviste—Singapour. Un construit de but d'accomplissement socialement oriente a ete developpe en prenant en consideration les personnes socialement significatives dans la vie des etudiants. Un instrument de mesure a ete elabore avec un echantillon d'etudiants universitaires chinois singapouriens (N = 196; 144 femmes et 52 hommes). Ses relations avec les motivations, les buts et les consequences d'accomplissement furent examinees. En depit du fait que les items de but d'accomplissement socialement oriente etaient originalement construits a partir de quatre categories reliees aux autres, une analyse factorielle confirmatoire a suggere une structure a un seul facteur. Les resultats ont montre que le but socialement oriente etait positivement relie au but de performance, au but de maitrise et a la motivation competitive des etudiants; il n'a montre aucune relation avec la motivation de maitrise, l'ethique au travail et l'interet pour l'apprentissage; et il a predit negativement l'engagement futur. Suite au controle des effets des buts de maitrise et de performance, le but socialement oriente n'a pas predit les resultats au test d'anxiete. Literatura contemporanea sobre cultura, yo y motivaciones (Markus & Kitayama, 1991) sugiere que en las culturas colectivistas, el logro individual es interdependiente de las personas del medio social. Nosotros proponemos que estas caracteristicas individuales pueden ser ejemplificadas en la orientacion de las metas de logro. Esta propuesta se evaluo en estudiantes universitarios de una comunidad colectivista—Singapur. Se desarrollo un constructo de metas de logro orientadas socialmente tomando en consideracion el significado social de los demas en la vida de los estudiantes. A traves de un instrumento de medicion se establecio en una muestra de estudiantes de la Universidad China en Singapur (N = 196; 144 mujeres y 52 hombres) la relacion entre motivos de logro, metas de logro y consequencias. A pesar de que los items respecto de las metas de logro orientadas socialmente fueron originalmente construidos para cuatro categorias de personas del medio social, un factor de analisis confirmatorio sugiere una estructura unifactorial. Los resultados muestran que las metas orientadas socialmente estuvieron relacionadas positivamente con las metas de logro, las metas de maestria y la competitividad de los estudiantes. Parece que no hay relacion entre el motivo de maestria, la etica laboral y el interes en el aprendizaje, lo cual predijo a su vez de modo negativo el compromiso futuro. Despues del control de las metas de maestria y de desempeno, las metas orientadas socialmente no predicen la ansiedad de evaluacion.

Keywords: Achievement goals; Achievement motives; Affect; Chinese students; Socially oriented goals

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00207590701836398

Affiliations: 1: Nanyang Technological University, Republic of Singapore 2: Ministry of Defense, Republic of Singapore

Publication date: October 1, 2008

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