Relating beliefs in writing skill malleability to writing performance: The mediating role of achievement goals and self-efficacy
Keywords:writing, motivation, beliefs in writing skill malleability, achievement goals, self-efficacy
AbstractIt is well established that students’ beliefs in skill malleability influence their academic performance. Specifically, thinking of ability as an incremental (vs. fixed) trait is associated with better outcomes. Though this was shown across many domains, little research exists into these beliefs in the writing domain and into the mechanisms underlying their effects on writing performance. The aim of this study was twofold: to gather evidence on the validity and reliability of instruments to measure beliefs in skill malleability, achievement goals, and self-efficacy in writing; and to test a path-analytic model specifying beliefs in writing skill malleability to influence writing performance, via goals and self-efficacy. For that, 196 Portuguese students in Grades 7-8 filled in the instruments and wrote an opinion essay that was assessed for writing performance. Confirmatory factor analyses supported instruments’ validity and reliability. Path analysis revealed direct effects from beliefs in writing skill malleability to mastery goals (ß = .45); from mastery goals to self-efficacy for conventions, ideation, and self-regulation (ß = .27, .42, and .42, respectively); and from self-efficacy for self-regulation to writing performance (ß = .16); along with indirect effects from beliefs in writing skill malleability to self-efficacy for self-regulation via mastery goals (ß = .19), and from mastery goals to writing performance via self-efficacy for self-regulation (ß = .07). Overall, students’ mastery goals and self-efficacy for self-regulation seem to be key factors underlying the link between beliefs in writing skill malleability and writing performance. These findings highlight the importance of attending to motivation-related components in the teaching of writing.
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Copyright (c) 2017 Teresa Limpo, Rui A. Alves
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