Comparing Male and Female Student Self-Efficacy, Identification, And Achievement In Mathematics: A Cross-Lagged Panel Analysis of Causal Effects
Bonitto, Cassandra Mia
University of Kansas
Psychology & Research in Education
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Understanding the direction of causality in the relationship between self-beliefs and academic performance is essential in educational research. The two purposes of this study were to examine the temporal relationships between mathematical identity, mathematical self-efficacy, and mathematics achievement and to understand whether those relationships were moderated by student gender. A cross-lagged panel analysis of causal effects was conducted using data from the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 to examine the key variables in 9th and 11th graders. Then models of female and male students were developed, and tests of moderation were conducted. The cross-lagged panel analysis found support for the skill-development model of self-efficacy (i.e., higher achievement results in increases in self-efficacy) and found a reciprocal relationship between mathematical identity and mathematics achievement (i.e., higher identity results in increases in achievement and higher achievement result in increases in identity). Also, a one-way relationship between mathematical identity and mathematical self-efficacy was found, showing that 9th grade mathematical identity influences 11th grade mathematical self-efficacy. The tests of moderation showed that gender moderated the relationship between 9th grade mathematics achievement and 11th grade mathematical self-efficacy and 11th grade mathematical identity. In addition, mathematical identity was found to be more stable for 9th grade female students. These findings show that female student’s development of mathematical identity and self-efficacy were less influenced by mathematics achievement success than they are in male students. The data gathered from this study will inform researchers, policymakers, and educators about the paths that male and female high school students’ follow to succeed in mathematics.
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