Materialism does not pay: Materialistic students have lower motivation, engagement, and achievement

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to examine how materialism, or the focus on acquiring money and material possessions, is associated with students’ academic engagement and achievement via their motivational regulation (amotivation, controlled motivation, autonomous motivation). Study 1 (n = 606 secondary students) was a cross-sectional study which found that materialism was negatively associated with engagement. This association was partially mediated by amotivation. Study 2 (n = 404 secondary students) was a longitudinal study which found that Time 1 materialism was negatively associated with Time 2 engagement and Time 3 academic achievement via amotivation. Results of the two studies provide converging lines of evidence that materialism is negatively associated with key indicators of learning. Students high in materialism have lower levels of engagement and achievement, and these associations are partially mediated by amotivation. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-301
JournalContemporary Educational Psychology
Volume49
Early online dateMar 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017

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materialism
Motivation
Students
student
possession
cross-sectional study
academic achievement
Longitudinal Studies
longitudinal study
money
Cross-Sectional Studies
Learning
regulation

Citation

King, R. B., & Datu, J. A. D. (2017). Materialism does not pay: Materialistic students have lower motivation, engagement, and achievement. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 49, 289-301.

Keywords

  • Materialism
  • Self-determination theory
  • Motivation
  • Academic engagement