Achivement Motivation and Intervention Impacts in Adolescents with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

  • Author / Creator
    Kapasi, Aamena
  • This dissertation consists of three separate papers that contribute to an increased understanding of achievement motivation and discuss how it can guide interventions for adolescents with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). The first paper is a concept review of important topics in this dissertation, namely achievement motivation, FASD, and interventions. Two achievement motivation theories were applied in this dissertation (i.e. Mindset Theory and Self-Determination Theory), and these theories are discussed in detail. I also describe considerations for achievement motivation in developmental disability populations, specific motivation research related to adolescents with FASD, and the importance of intervention research. I unravel the relationships between achievement motivation, FASD, and interventions, and call for researchers to consider the impact of participant characteristics on intervention outcomes.
    In the second paper, I primarily explore Mindset Theory (MT) in adolescents with FASD. The second paper is a descriptive study in which I measured and described types and levels of mindsets in adolescents with FASD and their caregivers. As part of a self-regulation (SR) intervention study, I collected information on the mindsets about SR for 24 adolescents (aged 11-17) with diagnosed FASD, as well as their caregiver’s mindset about SR for their child. I incorporated Self-Determination Theory (SDT) into this study by measuring psychological needs (i.e. competence, autonomy, and relatedness) and interest/enjoyment in the intervention. This study was divided into two stages. In the first stage, I found that the majority of adolescents with FASD and their caregivers had a predominantly growth mindset for SR. There was no significant correlation between adolescent’s SR mindsets and competence, autonomy, relatedness or interest/enjoyment. There was a significant correlation between the three psychological needs and interest/enjoyment, which adds support to SDT. In the second stage, I conducted a qualitative analysis of interviews with seven adolescent participants and five caregivers to uncover influences on mindsets. Six themes were found: observation of change, strategy development and use, support and resources, making meaning of the diagnosis, increased understanding of SR, and hope and positivity. These findings are discussed in the context of how we can use an increased understanding of SR mindsets, as well as the variables that contribute to a SR mindset, to guide practitioners and researchers in considering the beliefs that participants hold when they are participating in intervention programs. Future avenues for research are identified.
    In the third paper, I explore the influence of the level of mindset and psychological need satisfaction on an intervention outcome (i.e. inhibition). A sample of 23 adolescents with FASD participated in a SR intervention program, and I conducted pre- and post-testing of SR mindsets, psychological need satisfaction, interest/enjoyment, and three inhibition measures. Verbal inhibition was found to significantly change in a pre- post- comparison, and psychological need satisfaction was found to predict improvements in verbal inhibition. In addition, adolescents reported experiencing a sense of competence, autonomy, relatedness, and interest/enjoyment in the SR intervention, and I found a significant increase in sense of competence from the beginning of the intervention to the end. Lastly, the level of SR mindset significantly changed towards a more growth mindset orientation when adolescents who had completed the intervention were compared with a waitlist control group. The importance of considering MT and SDT in intervention development, implementation, and research is discussed.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2020
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
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