A person-centered approach to examining high-school students’ motivation, engagement and academic performance


This study examined the relationship among motivation, engagement, and academic performance through a person-centered research approach. Participants included 10,527 students in grades 9 to 12 from twenty public high schools across the state of Ohio in the United States. Latent profile analysis revealed seven profiles of academic motivation including the amotivated, externally regulated, balanced demotivated, moderately motivated, identified/externally regulated, balanced motivated, and autonomously motivated profile groups. Students in these motivational profiles exhibited differences in cognitive and social engagement, as well as academic performance. In addition, multiple-group path analysis revealed different patterns of relationship among cognitive engagement, social engagement, and GPA, suggesting that motivational profile membership moderated the relationship between engagement and academic performance.

Contemporary Educational Psychology