Academic achievement in the Chinese context: the role of goals, strategies, and effort

Int J Psychol. 2008 Oct;43(5):892-7. doi: 10.1080/00207590701836323.

Abstract

Previous studies have suggested that Western constructs of academic motivation may operate in different ways in Asian contexts due to differences in the cultural environment. In the present study, the integrative effects of achievement goals, strategy orientations, and effort expenditure on achievement outcomes were examined among 1950 seventh-grade Chinese students in Hong Kong. Participants completed separate questionnaires for mathematics and English. Results for the two subjects were largely similar. There were significant positive relationships between mastery and performance goals, between cooperative and competitive orientations, as well as between understanding and memorizing strategies. Regression analyses further revealed that goals and strategies were highly predictive of effort expenditure, but only goals and effort significantly predicted achievement outcome, with strategies being barely significant. The need to further investigate how Chinese students reconcile the apparently antithetical orientations in learning as well as the effective strategies contributing to their learning is indicated.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Achievement*
  • Adolescent
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group / psychology*
  • Child
  • Competitive Behavior
  • Comprehension
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison*
  • Female
  • Goals*
  • Hong Kong
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Learning
  • Male
  • Mental Recall
  • Motivation
  • Social Environment
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Students / psychology*