Issue 2/2012, 18. Volume Page 209–223
Differential patterns of school motivation in students of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
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The purpose of this paper was the comparative empirical investigation of school motivation in students of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Disparities in the levels of multiple adaptive as well as maladaptive dimensions of school motivation between students with and without immigrant backgrounds were investigated. Moreover, the explanatory role of socioeconomic status was examined. Data from 785 students from grade 6, drawn from 36 different German schools were analysed. School motivation was assessed with the eleven translated subscales of the Motivation and Engagement Scale (Martin, 2010). This highly differentiated and integrative instrument does not only take into account adaptive cognitive and behavioural dimensions of school motivation, but also maladaptive cognitive and behavioural dimensions. A multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was performed and effect sizes were calculated. School track was included in the model as a control variable. The results showed no differences in the adaptive motivational dimensions between students with and without immigrant backgrounds. At the same time, students with immigrant backgrounds scored higher on all maladaptive cognitive dimensions while no group differences were observed with regard to the maladaptive behavioural dimensions. After the inclusion of socioeconomic status as a covariate in the model, the reported statistically significant differences between students with and without immigrant backgrounds were no longer identifiable with respect to two of the three maladaptive cognitive dimensions. Implications of the results for research and pedagogical practice in the field of scholastic support for students with immigrant backgrounds are discussed.