chapter  5
The role of parents in students’ motivational beliefs and values
ByRebecca Lazarides, Judith Harackiewicz, Elizabeth Canning, Laura Pesu, Jaana Viljaranta
Pages 14

Motivational beliefs and values are salient determinants of performance, persistence, and behavioral choices (e.g. Eccles 2005; Eccles 2009; Eccles and Wigfield 2002). According to Eccles and colleagues’ expectancy-value theory (Eccles et al. 1983), competence beliefs are motivational beliefs that refer to individuals’ evaluations of their competence in different areas (Eccles and Wigfield 2002: 118). Positive estimates of one’s own ability and competence are crucial for producing successful learning processes (e.g. Marsh et al. 2005; Schunk and Pajares 2005). Other crucial predictors of individuals’ achievement and choice behavior are subjective task values, which are defined as ‘the quality of the task that contributes to the increasing or decreasing probability that an individual will select it . . .’ (Eccles 2005: 109). Students’ interest in tasks or activities (intrinsic value/interest) and students’ perceptions of a task as useful and relevant (utility value) are such values that influence domain-specific attitudes and career intentions and are therefore addressed in this chapter (e.g. Harackiewicz et al. 2008, 2012; Nagy et al. 2006; Watt et al. 2012). There are two other components of subjective task value – students’ personal importance of doing well on the task (attainment value) and the negative aspects of engaging in the task, such as performance anxiety or lost opportunities (cost) (Eccles et al. 1998). Given the high importance of individuals’ competence beliefs and values, it is noticeable that both competence beliefs (e.g. Jacobs et al. 2002; Wigfield et al. 1997) and values (e.g. Fredricks and Eccles 2002; Watt 2004) decline significantly from childhood to adolescence.