The purpose of the study is to develop and test a model describing the effects of motivational resources on mathematics performance. The model incorporates the assumption that intrinsic motivation positively affects mathematics performance, whereas external regulation negatively affects mathematics performance. Furthermore, it is assumed that mathematics self-concept affects mathematics performance both directly and indirectly through the mediating variable of intrinsic motivation. Finally, autonomy support can affect mathematics performance both directly and indirectly through the mediator of mathematics self-concept. The model was tested using data from the Third International Mathematics and Science Study-Revised (1999), or TIMSS-R (1999), on the mathematics performance of eighth-grade students in the USA. The conclusions drawn from the study were consistent with the predictions of SDT. Both structural equation modeling and multilevel path modeling analyses confirmed that intrinsic motivation positively influenced mathematics performance, whereas external regulation negatively influenced mathematics performance. A positive mathematics self-concept significantly affected mathematics performance both directly and indirectly through the mediator of intrinsic motivation. Finally, autonomy support in the classroom significantly affected mathematics performance both directly and indirectly through the mediator of mathematics self-concept.

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