|About the Book|
Motivation is considered to be an important component necessary for academic achievement. Research has consistently shown intrinsic or mastery-oriented motivation to be positively related to academic achievement. Conversely performance-orientedMoreMotivation is considered to be an important component necessary for academic achievement. Research has consistently shown intrinsic or mastery-oriented motivation to be positively related to academic achievement. Conversely performance-oriented motivation has been shown to be associated with decreased academic engagement and avoidance of challenge. Recently, it has been shown that differences in motivation develop in children as young as 4 years old. Carol Dweck and colleagues have developed a useful paradigm to be used with this age group based upon how children respond to performance challenges and novelty. Additionally, recent research by Ziegert and colleagues has presented a new way to assess motivation on a continuum based on helpless motivation indicators from the Dweck puzzle paradigm. Additional research has also implicated attention processes such as concentration, persistence, and task engagement as related to motivation. Thus, a relation may exist between motivation and attention. However, no study has examined how attention may relate to the expression of motivation over time. Thus, the current study examined how attention as measured by Posner and Petersons attention network model related to the expression of motivation measured two different ways (achievement goals and helpless motivation indicators) in 58 preschool children from middle income backgrounds. It was hypothesized that individual differences in skills on three distinct networks of attention would explain changes in motivation orientation and helpless motivation indicators. The results found that individual differences in childrens orienting attention skills were related to the expression of motivation orientation achievement goals over time. The results support previous work that has shown better attention skills to relate to mastery motivation in low income children. The current study highlights the importance of understanding the factors that influence the expression of motivation in young children. Implications for future research and applications for early intervention are discussed.