Graduate Program

College Student Affairs

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Heather K. Webb

Thesis Committee Member

Richard L. Roberts

Thesis Committee Member

Joshua Lawrie


The purpose of the present study was to examine students' self-identified motivation for participation in alcohol culture at a public, mid-sized, four-year institution. Quantitative data was collected through administration of the Situational Motivation Scale to students who were sanctioned to complete an alcohol education course as a result of an alcohol policy violation during the fall semester of 2012. Data were analyzed to discover what type of motivation (intrinsic motivation, identified regulation, external regulation, and amotivation) was most influential in participants' decision to consume alcohol. Analyses were then carried out to discover what relationship exists between the types of motivation, and what differences arise, if any, when examining participants by gender, class standing, and residency status. Data analysis yielded significant differences in motivation scores, with the following averages on a six-point scale: Intrinsic Motivation (M = 3.18), Identified Regulation (M = 2.29), Amotivation (M = 1.99), External Regulation (M = 1.36). The average for Intrinsic Motivation was found to be significantly higher than each of the other types of motivation (p = 0.05). Two significant moderate positive correlations were found to exists between the types of motivation (Amotivation and External Regulation [Pearson's r = 0.467]; Intrinsic Motivation, and Identified Regulation [Pearson's r = 0.552]). No significant differences were found between participants on the basis of demographic factors. Implications for future research and for professional application are discussed.