Achievement Goal Profiles Among Adolescent Males and Females

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Abstract

Achievement goal theory has long been a dominant model in the study of student motivation. However, a relatively small number of researchers have investigated gender differences in achievement goals or have considered the possible role that social and extrinsic goals may play in student academic motivation. Adopting a person-centered multiple goals perspective based on personal investment theory, this longitudinal study investigated whether males and females shared similar goal profiles, and whether the predictors (facilitating conditions) and outcomes (learning processes, task perseverance, and future aspirations) of these profiles were equivalent across genders. Profiles were extracted from 8 types of academic goals, based on a large sample of Hong Kong high school students (N = 7,848). Findings revealed 5 distinctive profiles for both males and females. Although the relative size of these profiles differed across samples of male and female students, the results show that 4 of these profiles were mostly equivalent across genders. Predictors of membership into these profiles were also equivalent across genders, whereas their relative outcomes were specific to gender.

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