Motivation is an essential determinant of academic learning, educational choices, and career decisions during adolescence and early adulthood. While achievement motivation has been widely studied across Western populations, recent work has emphasized the importance of examining the universality versus cultural specificity of motivation constructs across countries or diverse cultures. This article is a systematic review of the current discourse surrounding developmental and gender differences in student motivation in the disciplines of mathematics and English, offering comparisons of how these patterns are deployed within Western and East Asian countries. Guided by expectancy–value theory, this review focuses on ability self-concept and task values as two prominent motivational constructs. The authors first examine age and gender differences in the development of ability self-concept and task values among those from Western and East Asian countries from primary school to secondary school. Next, the sociocultural and contextual factors driving developmental and gender differences in motivation are discussed. The article concludes by summarizing the limitations of existing literature and suggesting new lines of inquiry to advance knowledge in cross-cultural studies on student achievement motivation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Psychiatry and Mental health