S. Raižienė, L. Ringienė, A. Jakaitienė

Vilnius University (LITHUANIA)
One can consider student academic motivation as the most prominent construct in educational psychology allowing better understanding of differences in learning outcomes across different groups of students (Koenka, 2020). The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), as an international large-scale survey, not only provides opportunity to explore individual factors that are related to learning process across countries, but also allows comparison across groups (such as gender or living place) within the same country. However, the comparison across different groups within the same country is meaningful only if there is sufficient evidence about the invariance of measurement instruments. Different groups of students could interpret items that measure motivation in a survey differently and a bias might be observed (Segeritz & Pant, 2013). Previous studies (e.g. He, Barrera-Pedemonte, & Buchholz, 2019; Nagengast & Marsh, 2014; Raižiėnė, Ringienė, Laukaityte & Jakaitienė, 2021) investigated the measurement invariance of motivational constructs across countries, however the scientific literature is scares as regards to the measurement invariance for groups within country. The purpose of the present study is to provide a methodological perspective on three newly introduced motivational constructs - competitiveness, work mastery, and fair of failure - with regard to gender and living place groups within country in PISA 2018. In particular, we study:
1) the measurement invariance of motivational constructs across gender and living place groups;
2) the relation of motivational constructs to reading performance across these groups.

The measurement invariance was tested employing a Multi-Group Confirmatory Factor Analysis (MG-CFA) framework. We estimated configural, metric and scalar invariance of motivational constructs across different groups of students within country. In order to examine the effects of motivational constructs on students’ performance across gender and living place groups, two-level Multi-Group Multilevel Structural Equation Modelling (MG-MSEM) was applied. The sample included 17082 15-years-old students from 3 Baltic states countries (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) in PISA 2018. In each analysed country, the proportion of gender is almost equal. We observe following proportions as regards living place: 19%-23% attended schools in rural; around 20% studied in small towns, 22%-28% attended schools in towns, and 29%-38% attended schools in cities. We confirm both metric and scalar invariance of three factors model across gender and living place groups within each country. The latter indicates that all items are valid indicators of newly introduced motivational constructs with respect to gender and students’ living place. Our findings reveal significant relations with different strength of association between motivational constructs and students’ performance. Moreover, the results of MG-MSEM indicate small cross-group differences. This study quantifies and discuss the importance of students’ academic motivation in learning process from an individual differences perspective in Baltic countries.

This research is funded by the European Social Fund according to the activity ‘Improvement of researchers’ qualification by implementing world-class R&D projects’ of Measure No. 09.3.3-LMT-K-712. The project DOTSUT-39 (09.3.3-LMT-K-712-01-0018) / LSS-250000-57.