Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies


Educational Psychology and Research

First Advisor

Matthew J. Irvin


Motivation is an important predictor of educational success, as is socioeconomic status. This study used Expectancy Value Theory (EVT) and a person oriented approach as the framework to explore how motivation profiles may be related to context, namely socioeconomic status (SES), and the roles these profiles have in predicting education outcomes. Five motivation variables: math self-efficacy, reading self-efficacy, control expectation, action control, and utility value (instrumentation motivation) were used in latent profile analysis to determine four latent motivation profiles from a national sample of 10,981 10th grade students using ELS:2002 data. Family income and education level (SES) were considered a context. Per the EVT model, contexts may relate to the development of ability beliefs, expectancy beliefs, and values, the main constructs in this theory. SES predicted membership into motivation profiles to a statistically significant degree. Various statistical analyses converged on the same theme: SES level was related to motivation class assignment. In turn, high and moderate motivation profiles predicted favorable educational outcomes when all SES levels were analyzed together, but these outcomes were not as clear when the lowest SES level was analyzed independently. Implications of these findings is discussed.