Electronic Theses and Dissertations


Jessica Webb



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Psychology & Research

Committee Chair

Leigh M Harrell-Williams

Committee Member

Christian E Mueller

Committee Member

Sean Holden

Committee Member

Alistair Windsor


Research has examined whether mathematics attitudes and beliefs are related to achievement and persistence in mathematics (e.g., Gottlieb, 2018; Kaspersen, Pepin, & Sikko, 2017a; Lauermann, Tsai, & Eccles, 2017; Lent, et al., 2018; Meyer, Fleckenstein, & Kller, 2019; Middleton, 2013; Peters, 2013; Sahin, Waxman, & Ekmekci, 2017; Wang, 2012; Wang, 2013; Yu & Singh, 2018). If attitudes and beliefs influence achievement and persistence and if they are malleable, educators can foster positive attitudes and beliefs as a way of positioning students for positive outcomes in mathematics. In order to study mathematics attitudes and beliefs and their relationship to desired outcomes, it is necessary to have valid, reliable measures. The High School Longitudinal Study (HSLS) included measures of mathematics self-efficacy, utility, identity, and interest (Ingels et al., 2011, 2013). The current study examined validity evidence related to the internal structure of these scales. The study was guided by three research questions: 1) What are the internal consistency and item discrimination for the scales in the base year and at the first follow-up? 2) What is the factor structure of the self-efficacy, utility, and interest scales in the base year and at the first follow-up? 3) Do the self-efficacy, utility, and interest scales exhibit measurement invariance across socioeconomic quintiles, genders, races/ethnicities, and mathematics assessment performance quintiles? For all four scales, it is important to attend to the construct being measured at each time point. The self-efficacy, utility, and identity scales had adequate internal consistency and no problems with item discrimination. Although the interest scale had adequate internal consistency, there were several problematic items. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) yielded mixed results regarding the fit of the data to the self-efficacy and interest scales. Multigroup CFA indicated that comparisons would be warranted across socioeconomic quintile, gender, race/ethnicity, and performance quintile for the self-efficacy and interest scales; for the utility scale, comparisons would be justified across race/ethnicity in the base year and across race/ethnicity and gender at the first follow-up. This validity evidence related to the internal structure of the scales is valuable for researchers deciding whether to use the scales in their studies.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest