Motivation Processes and Psychosocial Adjustment of University Students: An Analysis of Cultural Differences
Authors:Blake Beckmann, Chad Butler
Mentor:Kimmee Kee-Rose, Professor of Psychology, California State University Channel Islands
In many ways, motivational processes are the cornerstone of social experience; guiding the decisions we make and providing a measure of purpose by which to asses them. Previous studies examining the relationships between motivational processes and psychosocial adjustment have focused primarily on high school populations or the work place. Fewer efforts have examined these associations in college-age populations. The current study examined aspects of motivation as predictors of psychosocial adjustment in a sample of 25 Hispanic/Latino and 44 Caucasian undergraduate students. Measures of motivation (i.e., affect, arousal, concentration, satisfaction, relaxation, perceived control; and perceived future importance) were administered using a random time-sampling, self-assessment paradigm known as Experience Sampling Method (ESM). Participants were provided with a pager and ESM assessment forms. The pager emitted random signals eight times per day for seven consecutive days. After every signal, the participants reported their motivation processes by completing the forms. Psychosocial adjustment was assessed using the Social Adjustment Scale: Self-Report. A series of multiple regression analyses revealed that among the motivational processes, concentration (B = -.165; t = -2.274, p = .039) and perceived future importance (B = .234; t = 3.314, p = .005) were significant predictors of psychosocial adjustment in the Hispanic/Latino sample, whereas concentration (B = -.099; t = -2.230, p = .032) and relaxation (B = -.244; t = - 2.965, p = .005) were significant determinants of psychosocial adjustment in the Caucasian sample. The other aspects of motivation such as affect, arousal, satisfaction, and perceived control were not significant predictors of psychosocial functioning in both the Hispanic/Latino and Caucasian samples. These findings could potentially expand our understanding of the role of motivational processes that are important building blocks for optimal psychosocial adjustment in different samples of undergraduate students.