Predicting change across and after the transition to high school: A longitudinal path analytic examination of math-related beliefs and values

Tracy Abarbanel, Université D'Ottawa / University Of Ottawa, Université D'Ottawa / University Of Ottawa
Effects of the transition to high school on students' beliefs and attitudes about mathematics were investigated in the present longitudinal study. The influence of students' math grades, competence beliefs, and values before making the transition, as well as changes in these beliefs and values across the transition, on their math grades and enrolment intentions were examined across Grades 8, 9, and 10. Based on the theoretical framework of Eccles and colleagues' model of achievement (Wigfield &
more » ... Eccles, 2000), two path analytic models were tested for boys and girls separately on data collected from the same students across Grades 8, 9, and 10 (ns = 290, 265, and 249 for boys; 311, 278, and 255 for girls, respectively). Short-term effects were assessed on students' math grades and math enrolment intentions in Grade 9 (Model 1) and longer-term effects on these same variables in Grade 10 (Model 2). On average, students as a group showed declines in their math competence beliefs, their perceived usefulness and intrinsic valuing (boys only) of math, and in their math grades across the three years. Conversely, students' math enrolment intentions increased across this same period. Changes in stability were only found for boys' math utility value (increase) and girls' math competence beliefs (decrease). Results of path analyses indicated that, across both models, changes in math competence beliefs directly predicted boys and girls' math grades and girls' math enrolment intentions, beyond the direct effects of their math competence beliefs in Grade 8 (e.g., before making the transition to high school). Changes in math values predicted directly students' math enrolment intentions, also beyond the effects of their values for math in Grade 8 (before the transition). Although there were many similarities in the Models across gender, some noteworthy differences in the continuity of and relations between these variables for boys and girls' are discussed. In both models, changes in math competence beliefs predicted directly c [...]
doi:10.20381/ruor-12951 fatcat:lb335sekvrdotaekcmw4gjy4xq