The current research examined the reciprocal pathways between children's autonomous motivation in school and affect over early adolescence in the United States and China. Beginning in the fall of 7th grade, 825 American and Chinese children (mean age = 12.73 years) reported on their autonomous (vs. controlled) motivation as well as unpleasant and pleasant affect every 6 months until the end of eighth grade. In both the United States and China, there were negative reciprocal pathways between children's autonomous motivation and unpleasant affect. Over time, heightened autonomous motivation predicted dampened unpleasant affect, which in turn predicted heightened autonomous motivation. Positive reciprocal pathways between children's autonomous motivation and pleasant affect were evident over time only in China.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Behavioral Neuroscience