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This study sought to fill the gap in the literature concerning gifted students and academic motivation by examining the academic motivation in 126 non-gifted (n = 66) and intellectually gifted (n = 60) middle and high school students. The study used archival data to answer the following questions: What is the relationship between motivational variables, test anxiety, and student GPA for both non-gifted and gifted students? Are there differences in motivation across student group and across gender? And does a unique profile of motivation exist for intellectually gifted students? Study results revealed positive relationships between certain aspects of motivation and academic performance within the non-gifted students and the gifted students. Findings indicated that intellectually gifted middle and high school students tend to be more motivated than their non-gifted peers and experience significantly less test anxiety than their non-gifted peers. Gender differences in motivation were found only within the gifted group on intrinsic goal orientation, with gifted female students reporting more intrinsic goal orientation than their male counterparts. While a unique profile of motivation did not arise for intellectually gifted students, the gifted students were more likely to fall within cluster groups with high motivation, high sense of control over academic outcomes and high perception of their ability to successfully complete academic tasks. These students tended to have a higher GPA and experience very little test anxiety when compared to students with low motivation.
Academic performance, Gifted students, Motivation profiles, Mslq, Test anxiety
Date of Defense
February 3, 2014.
A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Educational Psychology and Learning Systems in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Steven I. Pfeiffer, Professor Directing Dissertation; Maxine Jones, University Representative; Jeannine E. Turner, Committee Member; Angela Canto, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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