Both self-determination theory and goal orientation theory are based in a sound theoretical foundation and have found wide empirical support. Although some scholars proposed that these two theories are related, few empirical studies have explored the relations between them. Therefore, the main purpose of this study was to examine the model on the associations among self-determination motivation, goal orientation, and motivational engagement through a structural equation modeling approach. The participants were 1305 junior high school students. In general, results supported all hypotheses. First of all, autonomous motivation positively predicted approach-mastery, avoidance-mastery, and approach-performance goals, and negatively predicted avoidance-performance goals. Controlled motivation positively predicted avoidance-mastery, approach-performance, and avoidance-performance goals, and negatively predicted approach-mastery goals. Next, approach-mastery and approach-performance goals positively predicted adaptive motivational engagement and approach-performance goals negatively predicted maladaptive motivational engagement. Finally, avoidance-performance goals negatively predicted adaptive motivational engagement and positively predicted maladaptive motivational engagement. Based on the findings in this research, implications for theory, practice and further research were discussed.
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