Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: doi:10.22028/D291-37946
Title: What Matters for Boys Does Not Necessarily Matter for Girls: Gender-Specific Relations between Perceived Self-Determination, Engagement, and Performance in School Mathematics
Author(s): Hofer, Sarah Isabelle
Reinhold, Frank
Hulaj, Dilan
Koch, Marco
Heine, Jörg-Henrik
Language: English
Title: Education Sciences
Volume: 12
Issue: 11
Publisher/Platform: MDPI
Year of Publication: 2022
Free key words: math performance
gender differences
teacher support
DDC notations: 150 Psychology
Publikation type: Journal Article
Abstract: While math performance does not seem to differ systematically between males and females, it is one of the subjects that is consistently perceived as “male” with girls regularly reporting lower levels of motivation and less positive attitudes than boys. This study aimed to uncover genderspecific relations between perceived self-determination, engagement, and performance in school mathematics that might help to better understand this discrepancy. In an online study, we hence assessed perceived competence and autonomy support, social relatedness, cognitive and behavioral engagement, math performance as well as sustained attention as a basic cognitive prerequisite in a sample of N = 221 Seventh-Grade students from southern Germany (Mage = 12.84 years, SDage = 0.55, Nfemales = 115). As expected, we found no gender differences in math performance. In multiple group path analyses, perceived autonomy support was the most consistent predictor of cognitive and behavioral engagement for both girls and boys. While it did not affect math performance directly, we found significant indirect effects via cognitive engagement for girls, and via behavioral engagement for boys, whereas competence support in the math classroom, which female students perceived as significantly lower than male students, negatively predicted only girls’ performance, sustained attention explained a considerable part of boys’ math performance. Girls seem to experience competence support less often than boys, and if they do, we assume it to be in response to low performance rather than to encourage high competence and nurture talent. Our results suggest promising avenues for future research and implications for math classrooms.
DOI of the first publication: 10.3390/educsci12110775
Link to this record: urn:nbn:de:bsz:291--ds-379465
ISSN: 2227-7102
Date of registration: 11-Nov-2022
Faculty: HW - Fakultät für Empirische Humanwissenschaften und Wirtschaftswissenschaft
Department: HW - Psychologie
Professorship: HW - Prof. Dr. Frank Spinath
Collections:SciDok - Der Wissenschaftsserver der Universität des Saarlandes

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