Mathematics Motivation and its Relationship with Mathematics Performance: Evidence from the National Assessment for Educational Progress-High School Longitudinal Study of 2019 Overlap Sample

This study uses the overlap sample of about 3,500 students who participated both in the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 (HSLS:09) and the 2013 Grade 12 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) mathematics assessment to investigate how mathematics motivation (mathematics identity, mathematics self-efficacy, and mathematics interest) at grade 9 and 11 is related to grade 12 NAEP mathematics performance, simultaneously taking into account grade 9 mathematics achievement, family and school background factors, and grade 11 educational expectations and high school mathematics coursetaking.


The overall Structural Equation Models (SEM) reveal that mathematics motivation in grade 11 was statistically significantly associated with grade 12 NAEP mathematics achievement (most strongly mathematics identity among the three motivation related indices). Moreover, while multiple group SEM results indicated that the proposed mathematics motivation framework fit the data quite well regardless of gender or race/ethnicity, some interesting differences were identified. For example, Grade 11 mathematics identity was significantly associated with grade 12 mathematics NAEP performance for White and Hispanic students, but not for Black students.

Image of Jizhi Zhang
Principal Researcher
Image of George Bohrnstedt
Senior Vice President and Institute Fellow