Educational Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version



Yilmaz Soylu M, Zeleny MG, Zhao R, Bruning RH, Dempsey MS and Kauffman DF (2017) Secondary Students’ Writing Achievement Goals: Assessing the Mediating Effects of Mastery and Performance Goals on Writing Self-Efficacy, Affect, and Writing Achievement. Front. Psychol. 8:1406. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01406


Copyright © 2017 Yilmaz Soylu, Zeleny, Zhao, Bruning, Dempsey and Kauffman. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY).


The two studies reported here explored the factor structure of the newly constructed Writing Achievement Goal Scale (WAGS), and examined relationships among secondary students’ writing achievement goals, writing self-efficacy, affect for writing, and writing achievement. In the first study, 697 middle school students completed the WAGS. A confirmatory factor analysis revealed a good fit for this data with a three-factor model that corresponds with mastery, performance approach, and performance avoidance goals. The results of Study 1 were an indication for the researchers to move forward with Study 2, which included 563 high school students. The secondary students completed theWAGS, as well as the Self-efficacy forWriting Scale, and the LikingWriting Scale. Students also self-reported grades for writing and for language arts courses. Approximately 6 weeks later, students completed a statewide writing assessment. We tested a theoretical model representing relationships among Study 2 variables using structural equation modeling including students’ responses to the study scales and students’ scores on the statewide assessment. Results from Study 2 revealed a good fit between a model depicting proposed relationships among the constructs and the data. Findings are discussed relative to achievement goal theory and writing.