Testing the multidimensionality of the inventory of school motivation in a Dutch student sample

J Appl Meas. 2015;16(1):41-59.


A factor analytic and a Rasch measurement approach were applied to evaluate the multidimensional nature of the school motivation construct among more than 7,000 Dutch secondary school students. The Inventory of School Motivation (McInerney and Ali, 2006) was used, which intends to measure four motivation dimensions (mastery, performance, social, and extrinsic motivation), each comprising of two first-order factors. One unidimensional model and three multidimensional models (4-factor, 8-factor, higher order) were fit to the data. Results of both approaches showed that the multidimensional models validly represented the school motivation among Dutch secondary school pupils, whereas model fit of the unidimensional model was poor. The differences in model fit between the three multidimensional models were small, although a different model was favoured by the two approaches. The need for improvement of some of the items and the need to increase measurement precision of several first-order factors are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Humans
  • Models, Statistical
  • Motivation*
  • Netherlands
  • Students / psychology*