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Wang, "The role of perceived beliefs in effort, self-efficacy, and task value on high school students' effort and math achievement in Taiwan," 1997

USC Dissertation in Education.
August 26, 2009
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Shu-Ling Wang, Ph.D.

Abstract (Summary)
The excellence of Asian students' academic performance has received great attention in the research and popular press. Research suggests that Asian students' academic achievement is due to their beliefs in effort, but very little research has explicitly investigated the effect of these effort beliefs on Asian students' academic achievement. This study attempted to investigate the effect of beliefs in effort on Asian students' academic achievement. In addition to beliefs in effort, other motivational variables, such as self-efficacy and task value, were also used to predict students' academic performance. Moreover, how Asian students' strong beliefs in effort were influenced by their perceptions of parental beliefs in effort, teachers' effort feedback, and peers' beliefs in effort were also investigated.

In order to reduce the technical risk for the dissertation, two pilot studies conducted with Taiwanese college students were performed. Scales that were originally developed in English were translated into Chinese. The first pilot study (N = 263) indicated that task value and self-efficacy had indirect and positive effects on students' academic achievement through influencing effort. Pilot study 2 (N = 191) indicated a good reliability for the author's designed questionnaire.

For the main study, 341 eighth grade Taiwanese students participated. The questionnaire measuring students' perceptions of their parental beliefs in effort, teachers' effort feedback, peers' beliefs in effort, beliefs in effort, task value, self-efficacy, and effort, was distributed by the investigator two weeks before the end of semester. The achievement scores were from the students' final Algebra exam. The structural equation modeling using EQS (1996) was chosen to assess the proposed model.

The results of this study showed as predicted that, beliefs in effort, self-efficacy, and task value all had effects on the Taiwanese students' math achievement through influencing effort. Self-efficacy had the strongest effects on students' academic effort and math achievement. In addition, students' beliefs in effort were influenced by their perceived parental beliefs in effort, teachers' effort feedback, and peers' beliefs in effort. This study suggested perceived peers' beliefs in effort had strongest influences on students' beliefs in effort. Implications and suggestions for future research were also provided.

Advisor: Not listed

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