Writing Ability and Gender as Moderators of the Relationship Between Instrumental Motivation and Academic Self-Efficacy


  • Kinsey Potter
  • Kathryn Lawrence
  • Allen Mathende


Studies have shown that students with high academic self-efficacy are more likely to perform better in the classroom and other environments. In addition to presumably directly influencing achievement, students’ self-efficacy beliefs can indirectly influence their achievement through affecting their willingness to learn and their approach towards challenges (Mahyuddin et al., 2006; Zimmerman, 1995). The purpose of this descriptive correlational study was to test the moderating effect of home literacy resources, student writing ability, and gender on the relationship between instrumental motivation and English self-efficacy, controlling for the reading interests and habits of high school students. This study utilized secondary data from a sample of about 11,000 students who participated in the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002. Reading habits and self-efficacy beliefs were measured using questionnaires given to students in their sophomore year in high school. Using Hayes’s PROCESS tool, the results of the moderation analysis showed that (i) differences in self-efficacy between students of different writing levels decrease as instrumental motivation increases, (ii) the amount of home literacy resources did not significantly moderate the relationship between instrumental motivation and self-efficacy, and (iii) as instrumental motivation increases, the difference in self-efficacy between males and females increases, with females having higher mean values than males across the whole range of the predictor variable.






Education-Curriculum and Instruction