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Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Accepted version.

Boyle, G. J., & Houndoulesi, V. (1993). Utility of the School Motivation Analysis Test in predicting second language acquisition. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 63(3), 500-512.

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© Copyright John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1993. All rights reserved.




The School Motivation Analysis Test (SMAT) is a 190-item, objective (T-data), multidimensional instrument for measuring factor analytically derived adolescent motivation dimensions. The SMAT was administered to 109 high school students (63 females, 46 males) enrolled in a Melbourne metropolitan foreign language school. Sten scores on the SMAT dynamic source traits (Assertiveness, Mating/Sex, Fear/Escape, Narcism, Pugnacity, Protectiveness, Self-sentiment, Superego, School Orientation, and Home Orientation) were used to predict achievement (combined across Comprehension, Grammar, Written Expression, and Oral Expression) via separate stepwise forward multiple regression analyses for each of five subgroups of SMAT variables (Integrated, Unintegrated, Total, Conflict, and Derivative components, respectively). SMAT dynamics accounted for up to 34 per cent of the achievement variance (males) and 26 per cent (females). Integrated Superego and Assertiveness sentiments were significant predictors of learning. However, only for the Total (U + I) stens, was Self-sentiment a significant predictor. The derivative stens accounted for 15 per cent of the achievement variance (males), and 12 per cent (females). Results also showed that gender was a major determinant of achievement outcomes, with males and females exhibiting different patterns of motivational investment in second-language acquisition.

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