Task Values and Ability Beliefs as Predictors of High School Literacy Choices: A Developmental Analysis

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Abstract

This study examines how competence beliefs and task values predict high school achievement choices related to literacy. Students' task beliefs (self-concept of ability, intrinsic value, and importance) about reading in the 4th grade and English in the 10th grade were tracked over time. Task beliefs, school performance, and gender were used to predict students' (a) time per week spent reading for pleasure in 10th grade, (b) number of language arts courses per year of high school, and (c) reading relatedness of 12th-grade career aspirations. Results indicated that ability beliefs positively predicted all 3 outcomes, importance predicted career aspirations and course choices, and intrinsic value predicted leisure time reading and high school courses. Gender differences were also discussed.

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