Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation: Comparing Relative Strength in Relation To Parental Support and Control
Authors:Casey Cho, Enrique Ortega, Enrique Ortega
Mentor:Enrique Ortega, Professor of Health Sciences/Head of CSUDH Health Science Research Institution, California State University Dominguez Hills
Previous studies have confirmed that both extrinsic and intrinsic motivation have been associated to high academic achievement among adolescents. In addition, some studies have shown that academic achievement is consistently high when intrinsic motivation is associated to strong parental support. This study investigated the potential mediating role of supportive and controlling parenting in the association between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and academic achievement. The sample consisted of 302 Italian high school students adolescents (48% female), ages 15-19 (mean age= 17.4 (S.D. = 1.4)). The participants were representative of the population of adolescents attending high school in the North Western of Italy. This investigation employed secondary analysis investigative methods and used linear regressions to explore the associations among our variables of interest. Results indicated that stronger parental support was associated with increased student intrinsic motivation (B = .230, p < .01) and that parental control was more strongly associated with extrinsic motivation (B = .215, p < .05). No direct significant associations were found between motivation, parenting and academic achievement. While studies have shown that the associations of motivation and academic achievement may be mediated by different parenting styles, this study did not confirm any direct effects of parenting or motivation on academic achievement among a sample of Italian adolescents. We did however find that different parenting styles were associated only to one type of motivation. These types of findings can help prevention scientists’ better tailor interventions aimed at increasing academic achievement by addressing the type of parenting that the student is receiving in the home.