The Moderating Influence of Socioeconomic Status on Motivation: A Self-Determination Theory Perspective

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Abstract or Description

Poster presented at the Southeast Regional Conference of the American Association of Sport Psychology

Motivation is the driving force behind the behaviors and actions executed by athletes. It can be influenced by a multitude of internal and external factors such as the athlete’s socioeconomic status. This relationship between motivation and these factors is of great importance due to its effects that I can have on the athlete’s ability and performance. The purpose of this study is to analyze the moderating influence that an athlete’s socioeconomic status may have on the relationship between the satisfaction/frustration of that athlete’s basic psychological needs and the type of motivation that athlete has to continue play in his/her sport. To conduct this study, the researcher assessed motivation through a self-determination theory lens by utilizing both basic psychological needs and causality orientations sub-theories. It is hypothesized that the relationship between the student athletes’ basic psychological needs and their level of motivation to play their respective sport will be significantly moderated by their socioeconomic status. Through this study, practitioners, teachers, coaches, and all supporters of athletes may work together to aid athletes to foster and sustain the intrinsic motivation that they have for their sport, which in turn will lead to increased enjoyment, well-being, and performance by the athletes.


Southeast Regional Conference of the American Association of Sport Psychology


Statesboro, GA