Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of Graduate Psychology


Dr. Kenneth Barron


The goal of the present study was to create a multi-dimensional growth mindset (MGM) measure. The purpose of the measure was to serve as an indicator of improvement for a team of 6th grade Math teachers in a local Middle School. These teachers noted that while their students were showing stronger self-reported growth mindset beliefs following interventions, they were not consistently displaying improvement in growth mindset behaviors. Following deeper discussions with this team of teachers and review of the growth mindset literature, six dimensions of growth mindset were identified: (1) intelligence belief, (2) effort, (3) persistence, (4) mistakes, (5) challenge, and (6) learning strategy. Development of a measure for these dimensions was driven by Benson’s (1998) strong program of construct validity. The substantive stage, in which the researcher focuses on gathering theory to support the construct, was further driven by the seven steps of scale development outlined in Gehlbach and Brinkworth (2011).

With the measure created, a pilot study with the students of the partner teachers was conducted to gather evidence for the structural and external stages of Benson’s (1998) program of construct validity. The structural stage is focused on evidence supporting how items are inter-related and related to the construct. An exploratory factor analysis revealed a six factor structure to the observed item scores. The emergent six factor structure was only moderately aligned to the theorized dimensions. The external stage is focused on evidence supporting how the measure is related to other constructs. Multiple regression models with the theorized dimensions and emergent six factors predicting English and Math grades and SOL scores, revealed that in general the classic intelligence belief items were consistently the strongest predictors of educational outcomes.

Suggested next steps include further research in the substantive phase supporting how the proposed constructs are similar or different, improving the items on the MGM, and testing the measure with different populations and contexts.



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