The relationship between motivation and demographic factors in elective course choice selection among middle school students

by Mackniak, Jeffrey, Ed.D., WALDEN UNIVERSITY, 2009, 139 pages; 3396323


As middle-school students make decisions regarding their elective class enrollment preferences, they demonstrate that there are outside influences unintentionally and unwillingly placed upon them. The purpose of this research was to investigate the interactive effects of gender, academic ability, race, and socioeconomic status (SES) on students’ preferences for middle-school electives and which influences the students to make their elective selection. The theory of motivation and the self determination theory (SDT) provided the theoretical foundation for this research study. The research questions addressed demographic differences and their relationships to intrinsic and extrinsic motivational factors when students in a middle school selected elective course offerings. This study of seventh-grade students’ elective selection and student intrinsic and extrinsic motivators was a quantitative causal-comparative investigation using the Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (IMI) on the internet. The simple random cluster sampling consisted of 264 male and female middle-school students. The data analysis incorporated one way analysis of variance (ANOVA) test with Sheffe post-hoc test. Extrinsic and intrinsic motivation served as the dependant variable for all research questions. The middle school students’ demographic differences: gender, academic ability, race, SES, and current elective selection were used as the independent variables. The data revealed that SES and the current course enrollment does exert influence on elective course selection. This study contributes to positive social change by providing crucial insight for practitioners into the motivational influences on middle-school students and how motivational orientation is influenced by SES and the middle school students’ current course enrollment.

AdviserElaine Guerrazzi
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsEducational sociology; Secondary education; Demography
Publication Number3396323

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