European Journal of Psychology of Education

, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 317–339 | Cite as

Mastery motivation, parenting, and school achievement among Hungarian adolescents

  • Krisztián JózsaEmail author
  • Noémi Kis
  • Karen Caplovitz Barrett


Children’s motivation to master challenging tasks is an important predictor of school success, and yet, such motivation declines during adolescence. It is therefore important to identify ways to intervene to reduce this decline. One malleable factor that is associated with motivation is parenting. The present study used structural equation modeling (SEM) to predict Hungarian seventh graders’ (n = 296) school grades from both youths’ and mothers’ perceptions of parenting (care/warmth, support of youths’ volitional functioning, and support of youths’ independence) and mothers’ and youths’ perceptions of the youths’ mastery motivation. Youth-rated parental care/warmth predicted youth ratings of their motivation, and mother-rated parental care/warmth predicted maternal ratings of their youth’s motivation (both of which predicted youth achievement). In addition, youth-rated parental independence encouragement predicted mother-rated motivation and both directly and indirectly predicted school achievement. In contrast, maternally rated volitional support predicted both youth-rated and maternally rated motivation, which, in turn, both predicted higher achievement. Results suggested that it is important to go beyond youth report in assessing parenting and motivation, in that results differed depending on rater. Nevertheless, despite some rater differences, findings highlighted the importance of parental care/warmth and volitional support in mastery motivation, and of mastery motivation in achievement.


Parenting Mastery motivation School achievement Adolescence 


Funding information

This research was supported by the Hungarian Scientific Research Fund OTKA-K83850 application. Krisztián Józsa also was supported by the János Bolyai Research Scholarship of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.


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Copyright information

© Instituto Superior de Psicologia Aplicada, Lisboa, Portugal and Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of EducationUniversity of SzegedSzegedHungary
  2. 2.Doctoral School of EducationUniversity of SzegedSzegedHungary
  3. 3.Department of Human Development and Family StudiesColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA

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