The Motivation and Engagement Scale: Theoretical Framework, Psychometric Properties, and Applied Yields


Andrew J. Martin, Faculty of Education and Social Work, A35—Education Building, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia. Fax: +61 02 9351 2606; email:


The Motivation and Engagement Wheel is a multidimensional conceptual framework that represents salient cognitive and behavioural dimensions relevant to motivation and engagement. The Wheel and its accompanying assessment tool—the Motivation and Engagement Scale (MES)—comprise eleven first-order factors (under four higher-order factors): self-efficacy, valuing, and mastery orientation (adaptive cognition); planning, task management, and persistence (adaptive behaviour); anxiety, failure avoidance, and uncertain control (impeding/maladaptive cognition); and self-handicapping and disengagement (maladaptive behaviour). We describe theoretical foundations of the MES, summarise corresponding forms of the MES for use in academic, work, sport, and music settings, and report on their psychometric properties in local and cross-cultural settings. We then review MES research addressing substantive and applied issues, focusing on educational research (i.e., looking at use of the MES to explore the effects of gender, grade retention, delayed school entry, taking a gap year, and the role of the home on motivation and engagement). Through psychometric and substantive applications, it is proposed that this integrative approach to multidimensional motivation and engagement instrumentation has utility across diverse performance and cultural settings, educational levels, and academic subjects. As such, it can be considered a meaningful recent contribution to psycho-educational measurement, research, theory, and practice.