The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

University students' learning motivation scale: validation for the Portuguese population

Paula Paulino, Lusófona University, HEI‐Lab: Digital Human‐Environment Interaction Labs, Lisbon, Portugal / Center for Research on Psychological Science, Faculty of Psychology of the University of Lisbon, Portugal (Portugal)

Sara Ibérico Nogueira, School of Psychology and Life Sciences, Lusófona University, Lisbon, Portugal (Portugal)

Leonor Almeida, Catholic University of Lisbon (Portugal)

Mariana Claro, School of Psychology and Life Sciences, Lusófona University, Lisbon, Portugal (Portugal)

Evely Boruchovitch, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, UNICAMP, Brasil (Brazil)


The present investigation aimed to examine the psychometric properties of the University Students' Learning Motivation Scale (USLM-S) in Portuguese higher education students. The original scale [1] was developed on the basis of self-determination theory and consists of 32 items on a Likert scale divided into two dimensions pertaining to the intrinsic and extrinsic dimensions of motivation. This study has a cross-sectional design with a sample of 754 students (Mage = 20.75; SD = 3.63).  EFA revealed a 2-factor structure (Factor 1, named as intrinsic motivation; 8 items; and Factor 2, named as extrinsic motivation; 6 items), explaining 53.44% of the total variation in the scale. Subsequently, CFA was performed (χ 2 (91) = 2179.50, p < .001, GFI= .98, CFI = .98; TLI = .97; RMSEA = .09, 90% CI [.08, .106]), and the model showed a good fit to the data. Convergent and divergent validity were analysed using the Average Variance Extracted, the Average Shared Variance, and the Maximum Shared Variance (IM AVE=.55, CF=.91; EM AVE=.57, CF=.90). Reliability was analysed by McDonald's Omega for the total scale (ωt =.88, rmi=.35) and Cronbach's Alpha, for both subscales showed adequate reliability (IM ⍺=.84, rmi=.42; EM ⍺=.85, rmi=.482). The data showed acceptable psychometric properties in a Portuguese sample of students, and overall results suggest that this is a valid instrument in the psychology and education fields. The data is discussed in order to improve our understanding of the scale's effectiveness in assessing and intervening on academic motivation, as well as the potential prevention of higher education dropout.

Keywords: motivation, university students, self-determination theory

[1] Boruchovitch, Evely. (2008). Escala de motivação para aprender de universitários (EMA-U): propriedades psicométricas. Avaliação Psicológica, 7(2), 127-134.


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