Master's Theses

Document Type


Date of Award

Summer 2011

Degree Name

Education Specialist (Ed.S)


Advanced Education Programs


Dr. Jennifer Bonds-Raacke


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.


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Copyright 2011 Brittney Horyna

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