Summary

In summary, work on anxiety and helplessness shows that some children suffer from motivational problems that can undermine their performance in achievement situations. Although most of the work in developmental and educational psychology has focused on these two problems, there likely are other important motivational problems as well. In particular, some children may set maladaptive achievement goals, others may have difficulty regulating their achievement behaviors, and still others come to de-value achievement. More comprehensive work on these kinds of motivational problems and how they affect children's achievement is needed.

Researchers interested in the remediation of these motivational difficulties have turned increasingly to programs targeting both cognitive and motivational components. These studies illustrate both the need to attend to both motivational and cognitive factors, and the fact that different kinds of strategy instruction are more or less effective in enhancing performance, depending on how they influence motivation. This work now needs to be extended to children of different ages to determine whether the strategy instruction and motivation enhancement techniques need to be modified for younger and older children. Further, work is needed to develop programs that integrate various approaches, particularly those approaches associated with self-efficacy, goal setting, and self-regulation. More broadly, however, as valuable as these individual-focused programs are, they are likely to have little lasting benefit if home and school environments do not facilitate and support the changes. Therefore, some researchers have turned to changing school and classroom environments to facilitate motivation, rather than changing individual children (see Maehr & Midgley, 1996; Midgley, 2002).

Other theorists have focused more generally on the link between school experiences and emotional experiences. These theorists have been concerned with two issues: (1) the possible link between experiences in school and more general mental health, and (2) the emergence of what appear to be less adaptive motivational strategies as a means to protect one's mental health. Some of this work was summarized in the introduction to this chapter. In the next section, we focus on the work by Covington (1992) and on the work by Roeser (Roeser, 1998; Roeser & Eccles, 1998; Roeser, Eccles & Freedman-Doan, 1999; Roeser, Lord, & Eccles, 1994; Roeser, Midgley & Urdan, 1996) and Eccles (Eccles et al., 1998).

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