PARENTING STYLE AND CHILDREN'S SUSTAINED INTRINSIC MOTIVATION SUBSEQUENT TO RECEIVING EXTRINSIC REWARDS

JUDITH JAY BRILLIANT, Fordham University

Abstract

Presentation of extrinsic rewards for engagement in activities which had initially been intrinsically motivated has been seen to lead to reduced intrinsic motivation after the reward is removed. Aspects of the reward itself and the manner in which the reward situation is interpreted by its recipient contribute to the effects of rewards. In this study, reward conditions of varying ambiguity (tangible reward, social reward, and surveillance) were presented to 119 kindergarten children in their classrooms. It was hypothesized that childbearing styles of parents of subjects which were controlling or supportive of autonomy would influence subjects' interpretation of the more ambiguous reward situations, and, thereby, influence changes in intrinsic motivation to engage in the target activity. Intrinsic motivation was measured by the amount of time subjects engaged in the activity during each class' "free play" time. Parents' style was measured with the Family Style Survey (FSS), an author-written questionnaire, and each subscale of the Problems in Schools Questionnaire, High Control (HC), Moderate Control (MC), High Autonomy (HA), and Moderate Autonomy (MA). Separate multiple regressions were computed for each measure for mothers and fathers. The reward conditions did not demonstrate a significant effect. The interaction between parents' styles and rewards did not add a significant contribution. Parenting style demonstrated significant effects independently of rewards. Children of fathers who scored high on the FSS and the HC and MA scales showed larger decrements in interest. Children of mothers who scored high on the HA and MA scales showed larger decrements in interest.^ Results were discussed in terms of issues in defining and measuring parenting styles, the different effects of communications of mothers and fathers, and the qualities of reward conditions when they are presented to whole classes in natural settings. ^

Subject Area

Personality psychology

Recommended Citation

BRILLIANT, JUDITH JAY, "PARENTING STYLE AND CHILDREN'S SUSTAINED INTRINSIC MOTIVATION SUBSEQUENT TO RECEIVING EXTRINSIC REWARDS" (1986). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8616817.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8616817

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