The present study analyzed academic motivation and its relationship with dispositions towards critical thinking in a sample of 131 students of Spanish nationality and 131 students of foreign nationality (unaccompanied foreign minors and foreign adolescents who had previously experienced the Andalusian care system). For this, an ex-post-facto study was conducted which was descriptive, comparative, and cross-sectional in nature. The main analyses carried out are of a descriptive and inferential nature, the latter to analyze the differences and associations between the variables of critical thinking and motivation (ANOVA test and an structural equations models) in both groups. Main outcomes included the lack of significant differences in dispositions towards critical thinking between Spanish and foreign students, alongside the existence of significant differences in academic motivation between both of these groups. In addition to this, significant differences were found within the group of Spanish nationality students in the dimensions of critical thinking as a function of intrinsic motivation, whilst such differences emerged in the foreign nationality group as a function of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and amotivation. Finally, within the group of Spanish students, a significant and positive relationship was found between motivation and critical thinking, being positive and non-significant in the foreign national group. In conclusion, it is necessary to improve dispositions towards critical thinking and educational motivation from the educational system for the inclusion of minors and youths in today’s society.

DOI: 10.3390/ijerph19095272
ISSN: 1661-7827