Master's Theses


Advanced Education Programs

Degree Name

Education Specialist (Ed.S)


The current study examined the relationship between the variables: school size, motivation, and college attendance to determine if the size of a student’s high school, along with his/her motivational tendencies, influenced the student’s choice to pursue a college education. Additionally, it was hypothesized that college students who had attended smaller high schools (enrollment of < 500) would exhibit motivational tendencies more characteristic of being intrinsically motivated, while college students who had attended larger high schools (enrollment = 500+) would be more extrinsically motivated. Data was gathered from college students attending a small mid-west university (N=266) using a brief demographics survey as well as Vallerand et al.’s (1992) Academic Motivation Scale. Results of a factorial MANOVA revealed a significant main effect for sex on the motivational subscales: extrinsic motivation- identified (MMale= 5.80, MFemale= 6.16), extrinsic motivation- external regulation (MMale= 5.94, MFemale= 6.24), and motivation (MMale= 1.89, MFemale= 1.43). Additional follow-up analyses utilizing Pearson Correlations indicated the existence of significant, positive, linear relationships between approximate number of senior classmates and the following subscales: intrinsic motivation- towards accomplishment, extrinsic motivation- identified, and extrinsic motivation- introjected. Furthermore, these results indicated a significant relationship between approximate high school enrollment and intrinsic motivation- towards accomplishment and a marginally significant relationship between approximate number of senior classmates and extrinsic motivation- external regulation. Results will be discussed in light of previous research and literature regarding secondary educational institutions, the various types of motivation, and their impact on students’ academic performance.


Dr. Jennifer Bonds-Raacke

Date of Award

Summer 2011

Document Type



© 2011 Brittney Horyna


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