Students can have multiple achievement goals, which influence their development in several aspects. In an article recently published on Learning and Individual Differences, Hongrui Liu examined what achievement goal profiles were held by Chinese students and how these profiles were associated with learning-related outcomes.
1,518 students from 70 classes in five schools in Beijing completed a questionnaire that measured their achievement goals, academic burnout, learning engagement, and test anxiety. The achievement goals being measured included mastery goals, performance approach goals, and performance avoidance goals. The authors later classified these goals into five achievement goals profile, labeling them as “high all,” “low all,” “moderate all,” “mastery-oriented,” and “approach-oriented” for comparison. The results showed that:
- The mastery-orientated profile was more adaptive than the low and moderate all profiles as it exhibited lower academic burnout, learning engagement, and test anxiety. The mastery-orientated profile was similar to the high all profile in terms of self-efficacy and learning engagement, but it was associated with lower emotional exhaustion, cynicism, and test anxiety.
- The approach-oriented profile demonstrated more adaptive learning patterns than high, moderate, and low all profiles; it was similar to the mastery-oriented profile in terms of cognitive engagement and test anxiety, but it demonstrated lower emotional exhaustion and cynicism and higher self-efficacy and behavioral and emotional engagement.
- The high all profiles showed higher efficacy, and leaning engagement than low and moderate all but were less adaptive in emotional exhaustion, cynicism, and test anxiety.
The authors suggested that the profile of multiple high goals was a common type for Chinese adolescents. Recognizing that it is less adaptive, improving Chinese students’ endorsement of the mastery-oriented and approach profiles instead of multiple high goals may lead to more positive and persistent learning outcomes.
Source: Liu, H., Yao, M., & Li, J. (2020). Chinese adolescents’ achievement goal profiles and their relation to academic burnout, learning engagement, and test anxiety. Learning and Individual Differences, 83, 101945.