Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Motivation in education--Iowa; Academic achievement--Iowa;


Motivation is described as being one of the most valuable foundational constructs essential for student success (Steinmayr & Spinath, 2009). However, not all students are motivated by school-wide practices and/or the general curriculum. In order to promote and nurture students’ motivation effectively, we must understand what motivates students, and also begin to analyze other coexisting risk factors that may hinder students’ success.

Participants for this study included 119 high school students between the ages of 14-18 from schools in Northeast Iowa. All students at participating schools were invited to take part in the study; however, data was collected from only those individuals who returned the appropriate informed consent forms. Each participant took a web-based version of the Vallerand Academic Motivation Scale, the Goodenow Psychology Sense of School Membership Scale, and the Prosocial and Health Risk Behavior Scale (PHARBS). Group testing sessions were completed in approximately 20-30 minute sessions. The data were analyzed using correlational analyses and hierarchical linear regression. Results demonstrate that relationships exist between participation in prosocial risk behavior and types of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, and participation in health risk behavior was associated with amotivation, or lack of motivation. Additionally, results support that adding prosocial risk behavior model to a model containing only health risk behavior increases our ability to predict motivation and might allow educators to develop more effective interventions for students.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Specialist in Education


Department of Educational Psychology and Foundations

First Advisor

Michelle Tichy, Chair

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (iv, 33 pages)



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