Using structural equation modeling to assess the psychometric properties of an instrument and the validity of achievement goal theory to predict mastery goal orientation and self-regulation

Date of Completion

January 1999


Education, Educational Psychology|Psychology, Psychometrics




This study extends the work of Carole Ames (1992), who proposed a theoretical model based on Achievement Goal Theory that explains how classroom structures may influence students' motivational patterns. The purpose of this study is to improve Ames' model by defining and evaluating some of the constructs within the theoretical model and their interrelationship. The study also addressed the assessment of the generalizability of the study results across two groups that differ with respect to culture and language. Questionnaires were administered to 273 students in Puerto Rico and 291 in Connecticut in 5th, 6th, and 7th grades. Confirmatory Factor Analysis found partial support for the omnibus hypothesis that students' responses in the instrument can be accounted by three factors representing students' perceptions of classroom structures (i.e., Interest/Enjoyment, Recognition/ Evaluation, Teaching Studying Strategies), two representing students' motivational patterns (i.e., Mastery Goal Orientation, Self-Regulation), and two representing Academic Achievement and Parents' Expectations; CFI = .91, TL = .91, S-B = .94. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) analysis found support for the omnibus hypothesis that classroom structures account for significant variance in students' Mastery Goal Orientation, Self-Regulation , and Academic Achievement, CFI = .92, TL = .91, S-B = .94. SEM Multiple Group analysis found partial support for the omnibus hypothesis that there are not significant differences with respect to the adequacy of the studied measurement and structural models across two groups that differ with respect to culture (Puerto Rican/Caucasian) and language (Spanish/English). ^