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Director/PI: Doug Guiffrida

Collaborators: Research Support: Darlene Abel, Ph.D. graduate student

Related projects: Doug Guiffrida’s, Andrew Wall’s, and Martin Lynch’s development of a quantitative model for Guiffrida’s (2006) cultural motivation theory using relatedness, autonomy and competence factors from self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 1991).


This work is expanding the cultural motivation theory model to incorporate cultural orientations to explain students’ intent to persist and GPA.

During the last twenty years, more research in the area of students’ persistence in college has included an understanding that students’ motivation and cultural orientations need to be a more integral part of understanding the process of student persistence. In a paper currently being completed, a model based on Guiffrida’s proposal using the Self Determination Theory components of relatedness, competence and autonomy successfully predicts both students’ IP and GPA using structural equation modeling.

Upon the successful completion of this first model, an effort to develop an expanded model which incorporates students’ cultural orientations to improve on the explanatory value of the model and its effort to model students’ persistence and GPA. Triandis and Gelfand’s cultural orientations, using their two dimensions of individualism-collectivism constructs and horizontal-vertical social relationships are being used to represent students’ cultural orientation. Students’ cultural orientations were measured for all four of the patterns used by Triandis and Gelfand: HI (horizontal-individualism), VI (vertical individualism), HC (horizontal collectivism), and VC (vertical collectivism).