British Journal of Educational Psychology

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Volume 61 Issue 1 (February 1991), Pages 1-123

ACHIEVEMENT MOTIVATION, EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT, CYCLES OF DISADVANTAGE AND SOCIAL COMPETENCE: SOME LONGITUDINAL DATA (pages 1-12)

Summary. The social and familial background, intelligence and personality of children and adolescents have been shown to contribute to their status in society, their educational attainment and to social competence in general as adults (Rutter and Madge, 1976; Garmezy, 1987). This study considers how these factors are translated into behaviour through the mediation of achievement motivation. Using a multidimensional approach to achievement motivation (Cassidy and Lynn, 1989), the achievement factors that predicted educational attainment and socioeconomic status in a sample of 451 young adults were identified. Data for the sample of 199 males and 252 females were collected at two points over a seven‐year period. Initial assessment occurred at age 16 and final assessment at age 23 approximately. It is suggested that a focus on the development of cognitive‐behavioural styles of achievement motivation, problem‐solving and attribution may provide a useful future direction for research on social competence. The implications of such a focus are discussed.

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