Predictors of Student Motivation to Succeed in First-Year College Mathemati cs: A Quantitative Analysis


  • Fayez Seifeddine



The paper investigated whether students ' mathematical self-concept and demographic characteristics could be used to predict students' motivation to succeed in first-year college mathematics. A sample of 407 participants consisting of 233 male and 174 female students were surveyed with a 40-item Questionnaire that sought to measure students' mathematical self-concept and motivation. Confirmatory factor analysis supported the existence of a mathematical self-concept scale and four motivational subscales (intrinsic motivation: relevance/significance of math; perception of math; interest/enjoyment of math; & extrinsic motivation: expectation of future income). The correlations among the motivation, self-concept, and demographic variables revealed theoretically consistent interrelationships. Multiple regression analyses indicated that mathematics self-concept, demographic variables, and extrinsic motivational factor accounted for significant amounts of the variance in students' motivation to succeed in first-year college mathematics. The results are discussed in relation to current theory and their implications for teaching and learning mathematics.