Predicting long-term growth in students' mathematics achievement: the unique contributions of motivation and cognitive strategies

Child Dev. Jul-Aug 2013;84(4):1475-90. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12036. Epub 2012 Dec 20.


This research examined how motivation (perceived control, intrinsic motivation, and extrinsic motivation), cognitive learning strategies (deep and surface strategies), and intelligence jointly predict long-term growth in students' mathematics achievement over 5 years. Using longitudinal data from six annual waves (Grades 5 through 10; Mage = 11.7 years at baseline; N = 3,530), latent growth curve modeling was employed to analyze growth in achievement. Results showed that the initial level of achievement was strongly related to intelligence, with motivation and cognitive strategies explaining additional variance. In contrast, intelligence had no relation with the growth of achievement over years, whereas motivation and learning strategies were predictors of growth. These findings highlight the importance of motivation and learning strategies in facilitating adolescents' development of mathematical competencies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Achievement*
  • Child
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Learning / physiology
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Mathematics
  • Motivation / physiology*