Stability and change of achievement goal orientations

Cassie Alexandra Fromowitz, Fordham University


Achievement goal theory has been the subject of much empirical attention since its inception; however, much of the work that has been done has focused on goal orientation antecedents or consequences at a single point in time. Recently, researchers have begun to consider the stability and change of these orientations over time. However, little research has been done to examine the stability and change of achievement goals in a high school population. Further, studies that have examined achievement goal stability have focused on one of the dominant conceptualizations (i.e., the goal orientation/schema model or the standards model) and its corresponding measure (i.e., the Patterns of Adaptive Learning Strategies [PALS] or versions of the Achievement Goal Questionnaire [AGQ], respectively). This study examined stability of high school mathematics achievement goals as measured by the PALS, Achievement Goal Questionnaire-Revised (AGQ-R), and the 3 x2 Achievement Goal Questionnaire (AGQ 3 x 2) over multiple time points using a comprehensive set of statistical techniques. The results demonstrated substantial stability for goals measured by the PALS over three time points (spring of 9th grade, fall of 10th grade, and spring of 10th grade). Goals measured by the AGQ-R and AGQ 3 x 2 also demonstrated substantial stability over the course of the transition from 9th to 10th grade. PALS goals tended to show greater levels of individual-level change over time than goals measured by either of the AGQ measures. Overall, however, achievement goals demonstrated stability over time, regardless of measure. Suggestions for further study and implications for educational practice are discussed.

Subject Area

Behavioral psychology|Educational psychology

Recommended Citation

Fromowitz, Cassie Alexandra, "Stability and change of achievement goal orientations" (2016). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI10112658.