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Temperament and Home Environment Characteristics as Predictors of Young Children’s Learning Motivation

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Abstract

This study investigated the relationship between the temperament dimensions, home environment factors, and the two types of young children’s learning motivation. The study aimed to investigate the relative contributions of predictors and identify the predictors of young children’s intrinsic and extrinsic learning motivation in a classroom-based setting. To do this, 296 mothers of 5-year-old Korean children responded to a survey on children’s temperament and home environment. Teachers of the same children rated the children’s intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Five temperament dimensions and two home environment factors were associated with children’s motivation in class. After controlling for family socioeconomic status and children’s gender, children’s level of attentional focusing and the verity of developmental stimulus presented at home made unique contributions to their intrinsic learning motivation in class. However, children’s extrinsic motivation was not predicted by any of the children’s temperament and home environment characteristics.

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Correspondence to Hye-Jung Cho.

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Appendices

Appendix 1

Items of Motivation Type Questionnaire (Jin 2002)

Motivation type Items # of items Cronbach’s α
Intrinsic Motivation 1. While engaged in the activities, the child feels he/she is learning what he/she really wanted to know
2. When asked to choose one activity among others, the child thinks first which activity he/she enjoys the most before making a choice
3. The child is engaged in the activities because he/she is curious and enjoys learning
4. While engaged in the activity, the child enjoys and challenges him/herself
5. While engaged in the activity, the child prefers to figure things out independently
6. While engaged in the activity, the child likes to choose his/her own activity theme (topic) and the process independently
7. The child really enjoys the activities
8. While engaged in the activity, the child enjoys it so much that he/she forgets about everything else
8 .89
Extrinsic Motivation 1. The child wants his/her teacher (parents) to know how good he/she is in the activity involved
2. The child wants to receive compliments through the activity
3. The child participates in the activity because others (i.e., teacher, parents) want him/her to
4. While engaged in the activity, the child is concerned about what other people (i.e., teacher, peer) think of about him or her
5. The child does not want to participate in the activity that is not recognized by others
6. The child prefers having the teacher set goals and provides the instructions for him/her to follow
7. The child does not like to participate in the activity if he/she has a choice not to participate
8. The child really wants to receive an award or present while engaged in the activity
8 .73

Appendix 2

Constructs of CBQ-Short version Scale (Rothbart et al. 2001)

Dimension Constructs [item number of the original scale] # of items used in the study Cronbach’s α
Approach Amount of excitement and positive anticipation for expected pleasurable activities [15, 46, 58] 3 .59
High-intensity pleasure Amount of pleasure or enjoyment related to situations involving high stimulus intensity, rate, complexity, novelty, and incongruity [4, 10, 33, 69, 78*, 88] 6 .67
Smiling laughter Amount of positive affect in response to changes in stimulus intensity, rate, complexity, and incongruity [19*, 48*, 79, 80*] 4 .62
Activity level Level of gross motor activity including rate and extent of locomotion [1, 12, 18*, 22, 50*, 85, 93*] 7 .63
Impulsivity Spread of response initiation [7, 28, 36*, 43*, 51, 82*] 6 .62
Fear Amount of negative affect, including unease, worry or nervousness related to anticipated pain or distress and/or potentially threatening situations [17, 23, 35*, 41, 63, 68*] 6 .77
Anger/Frustration Amount of negative affect related to the interruption of ongoing tasks or goal blocking [2, 14, 30, 40, 61*, 87] 6 .72
Inhibitory control The capacity to plan and to suppress inappropriate approach responses under instructions or in novel or uncertain situations [38, 45, 53*, 67, 73, 81] 6 .70
Attentional Focusing Tendency to maintain attentional focus upon task-related channels [16*, 21*, 62, 71 84*, 89] 6 .70
Low-intensity pleasure Amount of pleasure or enjoyment related to situations involving low stimulus intensity, rate, complexity, novelty, and incongruity [26, 39, 57, 65, 72, 76, 86, 94] 8 .62
Perceptual sensitivity Amount of detection of slight, low-intensity stimuli from the external environment
[5, 13, 24, 32, 47, 83*]
6 .71
  1. (*) indicates reverse coded
  2. The original version is available at https://research.bowdoin.edu/rothbart-temperament-questionnaires/

Appendix 3

Items of the Korean Home Environment Scale for Infants’ and Toddlers’ Homes (Kim et al. 2012)

Dimension Items # of Items Cronbach’s α
Developmental stimulus 1. There are more than X CD(s) or tape(s) of children’s song at home
2. There are more than X toy(s) (dolls, materials for hospital play, dramatic play, and etc.) permitting role play
3. There are more than X artwork(s) (artworks bought for decorations or done by the child) displayed at home
4. There are more than X number-construction play material(s) (blocks, puzzles, Frobel’s gift, Gabe and etc.) at home
5. There are more than X Korean alphabet learning material(s) (word cards, Korean alphabet learning videos and etc.) at home
6. There are more than X toys permitting free expressions
7. I do Korean language learning activities(s) (reading, writing, using word cards, watching Korean alphabet learning videos and etc.) together with the child
7 .79
Responsivity 8. I try to help my child develop at his or her own level of development (I strive to provide an educational environment that suits my child’s characteristics)
9. I try to use a variety of new words to help my child develop language
10. I usually talk with my child a lot
11. I usually compliment my child a lot
12. I usually talk using easy words that match my child’s level
13. I usually compliment my child
14. I usually talk to my child with a bright and gentle voice
7 .78
Opportunities for various experiences 15. My child is taken to the movies more than X time(s) per year
16. I visit museums or exhibitions with the child more than X time(s) per year
17. My child is taken on a family trip more than X time(s) per year
18. I do physical and outside activities with the child
4 .54
Arrangement of the daily routine 19. My child has a regular day schedule (meal, bedtime, playtime, and walks, etc.)
20. I encourage my child to sleep at regular times
21. I set a time for my child’s TV viewing time (e.g. TV viewing time is limited within 30 min)
3 .66
  1. All responses for 5-Likert-scale
  2. [#1] response scale ranged from 0 to 1 to more than 8
  3. [#2–#7, #16–#19] response scale ranged from 0 to more than 4
  4. [#8–#15, #20–#22] response scale ranged from never true to always true

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Choi, N., Cho, H. Temperament and Home Environment Characteristics as Predictors of Young Children’s Learning Motivation. Early Childhood Educ J (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10643-020-01019-7

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Keywords

  • Young children
  • Learning motivation
  • Classroom
  • Temperament
  • Home environment