University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Place of Publication
Students vary in three motivational styles when pursuing academic attainment: (1) amotivational style (lack of motivation), (2) extrinsic style (contingent upon external influences), and (3) intrinsic style (dependent upon internal influences) (Froiland, 2018). Research has demonstrated that individuals who are intrinsically motivated are more likely to report higher rates of meaning and purpose in life (Chalofsky & Krishna, 2009) and higher rates of psychological well-being (Huang & Wu, 2016). While this relationship between intrinsic motivation, purpose in life, and psychological well-being has been supported, research has yet to explore the relationship between extrinsic motivation, purpose in life, and psychological well-being (Huang & Wu, 2016). The proposed self-report survey study will test the relation between purpose in life and extrinsic versus intrinsic motivation for attaining higher level education among college students. The study will also test the relations between academic motivational styles and depression symptoms. I hypothesize that college students who are more extrinsically motivated will report lower perceived purpose in life and higher depression symptoms, while college students who are more intrinsically motivated will report higher perceived purpose in life and lower depression symptoms. Self-report questionnaires were administered online to currently enrolled college students attending various universities. Results indicated that purpose in life related significantly and positively to intrinsic motivation, even when additionally covarying for extrinsic motivation, but nonsignificantly related to extrinsic motivation. Depression did not significantly correlate with either motivation style, but was in the expected directions. Thus, intrinsic academic motivation may influence variables of purpose in life to increase and depression symptoms to decrease among college students.
Thank you Dr. Ashley Howell for your gracious support and assistance. Thank you Drew Hollins for your endless support and for encouraging me to not give up and to keep working hard.
B. S.; An honors thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Bachelor of Science.
Academic motivation; Depression, Mental
22 unnumbered leaves
Anderson, Linnea V., "Associations among academic motivational styles, purpose in life, and depressive symptoms in college students" (2021). Honors Theses.