Academic journal article College Student Journal

Predictors of Academic Performance of University Students: An Application of the Goal Efficacy Model

Academic journal article College Student Journal

Predictors of Academic Performance of University Students: An Application of the Goal Efficacy Model

Article excerpt

This study utilized the goal-efficacy model to examine a) the extent to which index scores of student self-efficacy, self-set goals, assigned goals, and ability (four variables in the model) could predict academic performance of university students; and b) the best predictor of academic performance. The sample comprised 103 undergraduate students in a university in North Carolina who completed self-administered questionnaires voluntarily during the spring semester of 2005. The instrument was revised versions of Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ) and Self-Efficacy for Self-Regulated Learning (SESRL) questionnaire. For analysis, zero-order correlation analysis was performed to estimate the association between the independent variables (ability, self-efficacy, self-set goals, and assigned goals) and the dependent variable (course grade). Three other variables--high school GPA, hours worked weekly and environmental restructuring--were included in the analysis for elaboration. A multiple regression analysis was also performed to determine the predictive power of the independent variables on the dependent variable. In both bivariate and multivariate analyses, high school GPA and student self-efficacy were strongly correlated with academic performance. Of the four variables in the goal-efficacy model, self-efficacy had the strongest predictive power. High school GPA is a better predictor of student academic performance than the goal-efficacy model.

Introduction

Numerous studies about factors associated with academic performance have identified contextual and social characteristics of students as important factors. These factors include family, peers, school, and community (Murphy, 1986; Bisnaire et al., 1990; Caldas & Bankston, 1997; Halle et al., 1997; Israel & Hartless, 2001; Shumow & Miller; 2001; Henderson & Mapp, 2002; Furrer & Skinner, 2003; and Pratts, 2004). Among family factors are low socioeconomic status, minority status, single parenthood, step-parenthood, and family involvement. Peer factors include lack of friends and involvement with peers with negative attitudes. Examples of school factors are school climate, size of school, lack of counseling for at-risk students, alienated teachers, and low participation in extracurricular activities. In terms of community factors, lack of community resources and low socioeconomic status have been documented as examples.

Previous studies have also documented two psychosocial factors, locus of control and self-efficacy, as important predictors of academic performance of college students (Findley & Cooper, 1983; Kernis, 1984; Zimmerman & Bandura, 1994; Niemiec, Sikorski, & Walberg, 1996; Cook, 1997; Wiest, 2001; and North Central Regional Educational Laboratory, 2004). Locus of control is the personal belief about the extent to which one's behaviors influence a specific outcome (Rotter, 1966). Self-efficacy is a personal judgment about one's ability to perform requisite actions in order to achieve specific outcomes (Bandura, 1977). In both cases, the outcomes refer to academic performance.

However, one model--the goal efficacy model by Latham and Locke, is portrayed to possess superior statistical properties over other models of student academic performance (Locke et al., 1984; Earley & Lituchy, 1991). To date, few sociological studies have utilized this model to study student academic performance. Moreover, there is paucity of sociological research on the role of intrinsic motivational factors (such as perceived competence, ability, self-efficacy, etc) in academic performance, whereas research on extrinsic motivational factors (such as parental involvement, teacher warmth and support, etc) abounds in the discipline of sociology. In addition, a greater proportion of previous studies focus on pre-college students. Given the above-mentioned gaps in the literature, the current research is warranted. …

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