Four Guideposts Toward an Integrated Model of Academic Motivation: Motivational Resilience, Academic Identity, Complex Social Ecologies, and Development

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Educational Psychology Review

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The field of achievement motivation is concept and data rich, housing more than a dozen major theories, all of which have withstood empirical scrutiny. Their very success, however, has enabled them to flourish within siloed territories. Such fragmentation creates major problems for educators, interventionists, and researchers entering the field. They are faced with a splintered and confusing picture of student motivation. Researchers new to the field find it difficult to see the commonalities or compare the differences across theories. Interventionists cannot design comprehensive educational programs, nor can teachers form coherent mental models of the field. This paper offers four guideposts to aid in the principled integration of motivational theories: (1) motivational resilience, an umbrella construct encompassing the core observable features of motivation—the energy, direction, and durability of action; (2) academic identity, which provides common ground for the many self-systems featured in motivational theories; (3) complex social ecologies, which serve as a home for motivationally-relevant features of classrooms and other important contexts, and the higher-order meso- and macrosystems that pervade them; and (4) developmental embeddedness. Together, these organizational guideposts sketch the outlines of an overarching framework useful for mapping the place and function of core constructs from motivational theories. To a field that already provides a differentiated, dense, and detailed understanding of student motivation, integrative efforts would add the kind of comprehensiveness, coherence, and comprehensibility that can foster even greater theoretical and empirical progress and the design of even more effective educational interventions.


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Springer Nature