The Revision and Validation of the Academic Motivation Scale in China

Bo Zhang, Yi Ming Li, Jian Li, Ye Li, Houcan Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Self-determination theory (SDT) has contributed greatly to our understanding of human motivation. Based on SDT, the Academic Motivation Scale (AMS) was developed to assess students’ motivation to learn. AMS has been successfully applied to the educational context in Western cultures. However, no psychometrically validated version is available in China. The present study aimed to revise and validate AMS in China. The AMS was administered to 882 traditional high school students and 419 vocational high students. A retest was administered to 67 traditional high school students 2 months later. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) demonstrated that the seven-factor model fitted the data well in both samples. Further analysis revealed that each subscale showed satisfactory Cronbach’s alpha and test–retest reliability. The AMS also showed significant correlations with criteria such as basic psychological needs, school satisfaction, perceived autonomy in the classroom, and other motivational counterparts, demonstrating good criterion-related validity. Group comparison showed that traditional high school students were more intrinsically motivated, less extrinsically motivated, and less amotivated than vocational high school students, providing support for its discriminant validity. In conclusion, the Chinese version of AMS was psychometrically sound and could be applied in China.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-27
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Psychoeducational Assessment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • academic motivation
  • revision
  • self-determination theory
  • validation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Clinical Psychology
  • General Psychology


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