Psychological parameters of students' social and work avoidance goals

A qualitative investigation

Martin Dowson, Dennis M. McInerney*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

133 Citations (Scopus)


The study identifies and describes the psychological parameters of middle school students' social and work avoidance goals. Data were collected from 86 students during 114 interviews and 24 structured observation periods. Inductive content analyses of the interview and observation data identified 8 distinct motivational goals (purposes) that the sample of middle school students espoused for their academic achievement. However, this analysis focuses on social and work avoidance goals that have not been widely explored in the literature to date. The analysis also identifies the structure of these goals in terms of their component academic behaviors, affect, and cognitions. The study is significant because it extends and deepens descriptions of the distinct social and work avoidance goals that students' may espouse and identifies key psychological components of these goals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-42
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Educational Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2001
Externally publishedYes

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