Academic journal article Journal of Psychosocial Research

Impact of Homes and Hostels on Morality and Achievement Motivation of Adolescents

Academic journal article Journal of Psychosocial Research

Impact of Homes and Hostels on Morality and Achievement Motivation of Adolescents

Article excerpt


"Respect for ourselves guides our morals; respect for others guides our manners"

-Laurence Sterne

Adolescents - young people between the ages of 10 and 19 years can be considered the transitional stage from childhood to adulthood. Adolescence can be a time of both disorientation and discovery. This transitional period can bring up issues of independence and self identity. It is one of the most fascinating and complex transitions in the life span; a time of accelerated growth and change second only to infancy. Its beginning is associated with biological, physical, behavioural and social transformations.

The first systematic approach to develop the concept of achievement motivation was initiated by David McClelland and his associates (Atkinson and Raynor, 1974; McClelland, 1961). McClelland defined achievement motivation as a learned motive, unconscious in nature, resulting from reward or punishment of specific behavior. He described achievement motivation as a uni-dimensional construct in which individuals are characterized as being at "high" or "low" ends of a motivational continuum (McClelland, 1988). McClelland (1988) suggests that individuals with low achievement motivation have high levels of either affiliation motivation or authority and power motivation. Individuals with high achievement motivation are primarily concerned with how well they are doing, while individuals with high affiliation motivation concentrate more on the way people feel about them. Individuals with high authority and power motivation are most interested in increasing personal status and prestige. Dweck and Leggett (1988), propose a goal-centered theory in which they explain that different kinds of achievement motivation manifest depending on the type of goals an individual is pursuing. Mastery goals have to do with mastering a particular task, learning skills and seeking intrinsic rewards. Performance goals, on the other hand, have to do with demonstrating one's ability in performing a task, gaining positive evaluation from others and seeking extrinsic rewards. It has been found that individuals who seek mastery goals have more positive performance outcomes such as challenge seeking, and mastery-oriented responses to failure than individuals who maintain a more performance goal orientation (Dweck and Leggett, 1988). Elliot and Church (1997) elaborated on this goal-centered theory of achievement motivation by examining the influence of approach versus avoidance achievement orientations on performance and mastery goal outcomes.

The motivation process can be considered to be one of the decisive factors in the educational process. The period we live in puts emphasis on one's independence, personality and individuality, self-sufficiency, achievement and success. All people long for achievement because it is connected with success, prestige and admiration from other people. Positive acceptance from other people is also reflected in individual's self-concept and self-confidence and, in this way, it increases their ego-value. The need for positive acceptance from others, mainly from their peers, is important especially in adolescents. Adolescents start to think about their possibilities and prospects for the future and realize that with respect to their age potential failures and dissatisfaction with their current performance can be compensated in the future. A majority of research suggests that there is generally a decline in motivation during adolescence (Anderman, Maehr and Midgley, 1999; Murphy and Alexander, 2000 and Marsh, 1994). Atkinson (1957) found that achievement motivation was a function of both desire for success and fear of failure.

Moral behavior means behavior in conformity with the moral code of the social group. Truly moral behavior is something which is carried out in a voluntary way; it is conduct which is regulated from within. Moral behavior is accompanied by a feeling of personal responsibility for one's acts. …

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