The role of the socializing environment in the *development of mastery motivation: Examining the transition period from 17 to 22 months

Diana Elizabeth Knauf, Fordham University


The research examined patterns of mastery motivation in two Hispanic groups: Puerto Ricans and Dominicans. This research also investigated possible influences on a transition in mastery motivation between the ages of 17 and 22 months. Mastery motivation is the inherent drive to gain control of the environment as well as the objects in it without any external reward. While this drive is intrinsic, it is not immune to environmental influence. A sample of 58 moderately low income mother-child dyads from Bronx, New York participated; 74% were Puerto Rican. The sample included 30 boys and 28 girls. Dyads engaged in a cooperative task with a shape-sorter which was videotaped and coded for affect, control, and scaffolding behaviors. Children were assessed for mastery motivation using the Individualized Assessment method. Mothers completed the Dimensions of Mastery Questionnaire, the Individualism-Collectivism measure and provided sociobiographic information including the provision of cognitively oriented activities at home. It was found that mean levels of mastery motivation in these Puerto Rican and Dominican children were similar to that found in previous samples. Task pleasure was found to decrease across age groups, F (2, 52) = 3.53, $p=.037.$ No other age differences were found, nor were maternal behaviors significantly correlated with mastery motivation. The predictor variables were significantly related. Maternal cultural orientation was expected to relate to control during the cooperative task and this was found to be true. However, education was also significantly correlated with these two variables and accounted for much of the variance. This study provides a description of mastery motivation in low to middle income Puerto Rican and Dominican children living in Bronx, New York. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Social|Psychology, Developmental|Sociology, Individual and Family Studies

Recommended Citation

Knauf, Diana Elizabeth, "The role of the socializing environment in the *development of mastery motivation: Examining the transition period from 17 to 22 months" (1998). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9825877.