American Journal of Educational Research
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American Journal of Educational Research. 2017, 5(1), 43-49
DOI: 10.12691/education-5-1-7
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Predicting Academic Achievement Motivation: Possible Selves of Undergraduate Students in Selected Universities in Kenya

Joash Mutua Wambua1, Catherine Wambui Wambua2 and Peter Changilwa Kigwilu3,

1Associate Professor, Regina Pacis University College, Kenya

2Lecturer, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya

3Assistant Professor, United States International University-Africa, Kenya

Pub. Date: January 10, 2017

Cite this paper:
Joash Mutua Wambua, Catherine Wambui Wambua and Peter Changilwa Kigwilu. Predicting Academic Achievement Motivation: Possible Selves of Undergraduate Students in Selected Universities in Kenya. American Journal of Educational Research. 2017; 5(1):43-49. doi: 10.12691/education-5-1-7


The role of motivation in enhancing students’ academic achievement cannot be gainsaid, moreso intrinsic motivation. International discourses attribute students’ academic achievement to their perceived possible selves. However, most studies on possible selves have largely been conducted among students in high schools outside Africa. Thus, the concept of possible selves remains under-researched in the African context. This study investigated possible selves of undergraduate students from selected universities in Kenya. It explored possible selves’ differences between male and female students, private and public universities, and profession-vowed Catholic students versus those that are not. The study sampled 167 students in five universities; two public universities and three private universities. Questionnaires were piloted to 31 students and validated by experienced educational psychologists. The reliability of the questionnaires, measured using the Cronchbach statistic, was 0.78. The study found higher achievement possible selves among female students than male students. Students in both public and private universities held similar possible selves for achievement; however, female students had higher physical health possible selves than male students. Higher physical health possible selves were also found among students from private universities than in public universities. However, there was no significant difference in possible selves’ between students who were profession-vowed Catholics (fathers, brothers, and sisters) and the non-profession vowed students. Implication arising from the findings is that universities can build on the relatively high achievement possible selves of students to enhance their academic achievement. Universities may use the findings to interrogate student motivation hence improve academic advising accordingly.

academic achievement feared-for possible selves hoped-for possible selves motivation possible selves

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