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Interdisciplinaria

versión On-line ISSN 1668-7027

Resumen

CUPANI, Marcos. Validity evidence for the new scales for mathematics outcome expectancies and performance goals. Interdisciplinaria [online]. 2010, vol.27, n.1, pp. 111-127. ISSN 1668-7027.

Lent and Brown (2006) suggest guidelines for creating and adapting assessment tools based on the Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT -Lent, Brown, & Hackett, 1994). In the last years, this theory has been the subject of substantial research, both basic and theoretical. The authors indicate that any assessment of SCCT should: (a) contextualize measures to make sure they are grounded in a particular, domain-specific context, (b) be reasonably comprehensive in sampling the domain, designing multifaceted measures when the criterion is correspondingly complex, and (c) ensure compatibility between predictors and criteria along key dimensions, including content, context, temporal orientation, and level of specificity. Additionally, it is important to use reliable and valid tests. Without sound measures, it is difficult, if not impossible, to establish whether theory-discrepant findings are attributable to problems with the theory, flaws in operationalizing it, or both. In Argentina, Cupani and Gnavi (2007) assessed a model of academic performance in Mathematic, based on the SCCT. Cupani and Gnavi adapted the subscales for Mathematic Outcome Expectancies and Performance Goals of the Middle School Self-Efficacy Scale (Fouad, Smith, & Enochs, 1997). Results indicated that the goals subscale has a simple factor structure with adequate internal consistence, although it did not predict academic performance in Mathematic. Moreover, the Subscale for Mathematics Outcome Expectancies showed low internal consistence and some of its items did not transfer well to our cultural setting. Therefore, two follow-up studies were carried out to improve the psychometric properties of both scales. The first study employed two focus groups (n per group = 8) and aimed at generating ideas on the student's expectations of results and goals on academic achievement in our cultural setting. The information gathered was used to write 7 new items for the goals subscale and 12 items for the outcome expectancies. These items were then tested for clarity and understanding in a sample of adolescents. Language corrections were also carried out, yielding two new goals and outcome expectancies scales (11 and 13 items, respectively). On the second study, these scales were administered to a sample of 420 adolescents (M = 13.84; SD = .76). The internal structure of the scales was examined through exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis and their internal consistency was analyzed by Cronbach's alpha. The predictive validity for Academic Achievement in Mathematic was also analyzed. The scale of logical-mathematical self- efficacy from the (revised) Self-efficacy Inventory of Multiple Intelligences (Pérez & Cupani, 2008) was also administered. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis revealed that a single-factor structure for the scale of performance goals (GFI: .92; CFI: .95, RMSEA: .08) and for the Scale for Mathematic Outcome Expectancies (GFI: .95; CFI: .96, RMSEA: .06) is the most appropriate model for the data gathered. Both scales had optimal Cronbach's alpha values (.86 and. 85, for performance goals and outcome expectancies, respectively). The study on predictive validity also showed that logic-mathematic self- efficacy beliefs and achievement goals in Mathematic explain 32% of variance of math school performance. The results show that Academic Achievement in Mathematic is partially explained by the model. In summary, both scales allow a contextualized measurement of outcome expectancies and performance goals on Mathematic in teenagers from our cultural area. These scales have satisfactory psychometric properties, presenting a clear internal structure, and adequate internal consistence. Future application of path analysis will allow a more precise identification of the interrelations between outcome expectancies and performance goals on Mathematic and their direct and indirect effects upon academic achievement in it.

Palabras llave : Outcome expectancies; Performance goals; Academic achievement.

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