A 3-year longitudinal study was carried out by Nanjing University on the relationship between Chinese high school students’ academic stress and academic motivation in the subject of mathematics. Academic motivation is comprised of three components: intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, and amotivation. Furthermore, there are three aspects of extrinsic motivation: identified regulation, introjected regulation and external regulation.
A total of 298 grade 10 students (mean age: 16.46) from three high schools in urban areas of Nanjing participated in the present study. Students’ academic stress was measured when they were grade 10, and their academic motivation was measured at both grade 10 and grade 12.
The study found that Chinese high school students’ academic stress at grade 10 negatively predicted their intrinsic motivation, but positively predicted their amotivation at grade 12. On the other hand, there was no significant difference between academic stress and extrinsic motivation.
The researcher suggested that Chinese high schools’ mathematics teachers might consider cutting down the amount of mathematics homework and the frequency of tests in order to reduce students’ academic stress; this would serve to enhance students’ intrinsic motivation and decrease their amotivation for mathematics learning.
Source: Liu, Y. (2015). The longitudinal relationship between Chinese high school students’ academic stress and academic motivation. Learning and Individual Differences, 38, 123-126.