Instrument Validation and Structural Equation Modeling of Motivational and Higher Education Orientations among Students of Mexican Descent in Rural Schools of the U.S. Pacific Northwest
HAMILTON, ERIC WILLIAM
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The present study investigates use of Nicholls' (1989) Motivational Orientations Scales with high school students of Mexican descent in rural school settings, and the patterns of associations between motivational orientations and higher education orientations for students differing in gender, country of birth (nativity), grade level, and ethnic composition of school. Participants (n = 354) completed a questionnaire including the Motivational Orientations Scales of the Theories of Schooling survey (Nicholls, 1989), questions pertaining to beliefs about higher education attainment, and demographics questions. Confirmatory factor analyses evidenced language and student sub-group equivalence of factor structure on a random split-half procedure. Correlational analyses revealed relationships between motivational orientations and higher education orientations that evidenced unique patterns for different groups of students. Path models revealed distinct similarities and differences in sub-groups-based patterns between motivational and higher education orientations. Multivariate analyses of variance (MANOVA) showed an interaction effect between nativity and gender on higher education expectations, and a main effect of school ethnic composition on higher education aspirations. Results support use of the Motivational Orientations Scales with adolescents of Mexican descent in rural schools, and suggest consideration of gender, nativity, grade level, and school ethnic composition in interventions to address students' school achievement motivation and belifs about higher education opportunities. Limitations and future directions are discussed.
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