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Trajectories of Motivation and Their Academic Correlates Over the First Year of College

Sun, April 19, 8:15 to 9:45am, Virtual Room


The first year of college is a pivotal time for academic and personal development, yet little is known about motivational change during this period. Using Self-Determination Theory (SDT), we assessed six distinct motive types among an initial sample of 776 students at four time points over the first year of college. Latent growth models indicated initially high but declining levels of intrinsic and identified motives, moderate but increasing levels of positive and negative introjection, and low but increasing levels of external motives and amotivation. Academic functioning was predicted by initial levels of identified motives and change trajectories for both intrinsic and identified motives, suggesting that motivational supports are essential both prior to college entry and throughout the first year.