Growth trajectories of mathematics achievement: Longitudinal tracking of student academic progress

Magdalena Mo Ching MOK, Dennis Michael MCINERNEY, Jinxin ZHU, Anthony OR

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)


Background: A number of methods to investigate growth have been reported in the literature, including hierarchical linear modelling (HLM), latent growth modelling (LGM), and multidimensional scaling applied to longitudinal profile analysis (LPAMS). 
Aims: This study aimed at modelling the mathematics growth of students over a span of 6 years from Grade 3 to Grade 9. 
Sample: The sample comprised secondary longitudinal data collected in three waves from n = 866 Hong Kong students when they were in Grade 3, Grade 6, and Grade 9. 
Method: Mathematics achievement was measured thrice on a vertical scale linked with anchor items. Linear and nonlinear latent growth models were used to assess students' growth. Gender differences were also examined. 
Results: A nonlinear latent growth curve with a decelerated rate had a good fit to the data. Initial achievement and growth rate were negatively correlated. No gender difference was found. 
Conclusion: Mathematics growth from Grade 6 to Grade 9 was slower than that from Grade 3 to Grade 6. Students with lower initial achievement improved at a faster rate than those who started at a higher level. Gender did not affect growth rate. Copyright © 2014 The British Psychological Society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-171
JournalBritish Journal of Educational Psychology
Issue number2
Early online dateNov 2014
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015


school grade
gender-specific factors
multidimensional scaling
Hong Kong


Mok, M. M. C., McInerney, D. M., Zhu, J., & Or, A. (2015). Growth trajectories of mathematics achievement: Longitudinal tracking of student academic progress. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 85(2), 154-171. doi: 10.1111/bjep.12060


  • Mathematics growth
  • Latent growth model
  • Gender
  • Compensatory effect