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Self-determination theory and therapeutic recreation: The relevance of autonomy, competence, and relatedness to participant intrinsic motivation

Dissertation
Author: Gena N. Bell
Abstract:
The purpose of this dissertation was to explore the relevance of autonomy, competence, and relatedness, the three innate psychological needs proposed by self-determination theory, to participant intrinsic motivation. The three needs of SDT have not previously been examined in an exploratory manner or applied to efficacy research in therapeutic recreation. If applied, therapists could use them to increase intrinsic motivation towards interventions in their participants. The first manuscript discusses intrinsic motivation and self-determination and their presence in leisure and therapeutic recreation research. It details the experimental manipulation of autonomy, competence, and relatedness in a 2 x 2 x 2 design. A novel activity systematically varying in component support was introduced to 101 undergraduate students. The Intrinsic Motivation Inventory and Rated Needs Satisfaction were administered following the manipulation and participants were observed during a free-choice period to see if they chose to continue the activity as measures of intrinsic interest. Supporting competence and relatedness had main effects on intrinsic motivation. Supporting autonomy and relatedness together was also found to have a significant effect on intrinsic motivation. Implications for therapeutic recreation are discussed. The second manuscript reviews the importance of autonomy, competence, and relatedness in the lives of older adults, their impact on psychological well-being, and frequent absence in long term care settings. Research that addresses these deficits is then discussed with suggestions for application.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page

TITLE PAGE....................................................................................................................i

ABSTRACT.....................................................................................................................ii

DEDICATION................................................................................................................iii

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS..............................................................................................iv

LIST OF TABLES.........................................................................................................vii

LIST OF FIGURES......................................................................................................viii

CHAPTER

I. INTRODUCTION.........................................................................................1

Rationale..................................................................................................1 Theoretical Framework............................................................................4 Conceptual Framework............................................................................5 Research Question...................................................................................9 Research Hypotheses...............................................................................9 Explanation of Terms.............................................................................10 Dissertation Outline...............................................................................10

II. MANUSCRIPT #1: THE EFFICACY OF VERBAL MESSAGES SUPPORTIVE OF AUTONOMY, RELATEDNESS, AND COMPETENCE IN INCREASING PARTICIPANT INTRINSIC MOTIVATION: ..............................................................12

Abstract..................................................................................................12 Conceptual Foundation..........................................................................15 Purpose Statement and Research Hypotheses.......................................20 Method...................................................................................................22 Results....................................................................................................32 Discussion..............................................................................................42

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Table of Contents (Continued) Page

III. MANUSCRIPT #2: THE IMPORTANCE OF PROMOTING INTRINSIC MOTIVATION IN CLIENT INTERACTIONS TO SUPPORT PSYCHOLOGICAL WELL-BEING............................49

Abstract..................................................................................................49 Theoretical Framework..........................................................................50 Research on Enhancement of Relatedness, Autonomy, and Competence in Older Adults.....................................................54 A Change in Environment.....................................................................59 Suggestions for Practitioners.................................................................62

IV. CONCLUSION............................................................................................65

Chapter Overview..................................................................................65 Implications ..........................................................................................65 Limitations.............................................................................................66 Future Research.....................................................................................67 Conclusion.............................................................................................68

APPENDICES...............................................................................................................70

A: The Messages...............................................................................................71 B: Instructions on How to Play Boggle............................................................74 C: Rated Need Satisfaction...............................................................................75 D: Intrinsic Motivation Inventory.....................................................................76 E: Letter of IRB Approval................................................................................77

REFERENCES..............................................................................................................78

vii

LIST OF TABLES

Table Page

2.1 Description of Conditions............................................................................25

2.2 ANOVA Results of Rated Needs Scoresby Condition................................33

3.1 Studies of Older Adults With Autonomy, Competence, and Relatedness Outcomes...........................................................................54

3.2 Health Care Practitioner Behaviors That Support Patients’ Feelings of Autonomy, Competence, and Relatedness..........................63

viii

LIST OF FIGURES

Figure Page

2.1 Fulfillment of Needs Results in Intrinsically Motivated, Self-determined People..........................................................................21

2.2 Flow of Participants through the Experimental Procedure..........................21

2.3 Means of Composite Rated Need Satisfaction Scores By Condition .........................................................................................34

2.4 Four-way Interaction Between Autonomy, Relatedness, Gender, and Previous Boggle Experience ............................................35

2.5 Four-way Interaction Between Autonomy, Competence, Relatedness, and Gender........................................................................37

2.6 Probability of Playing Boggle During Free Choice Time by Condition ..............................................................................................39

2.7 Three-way Interaction Between Autonomy, Competence, and Relatedness, for Probability of Playing Boggle..............................41

1 CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Rationale As of 2005, there were approximately 54.4 million individuals in the United States of America living with some level of disability (Brault, 2008). Of those individuals, 35 million (12%) had a severe disability. “Some level of disability” includes people with vision and hearing impairments, mobility impairments, learning disabilities, mental conditions, and developmental disabilities. Many different treatment modalities exist which can benefit people with disabilities, such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. One modality in a position to provide benefits to people with disabilities is therapeutic recreation. Therapeutic recreation (TR) has been defined several different ways. Robertson and Long (2008) define TR as “the purposeful utilization or enhancement of leisure as a way to maximize a person’s overall health, well-being, or quality of life.” A slightly different definition and term is presented by the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (2009): "Recreational Therapy” means a treatment service designed to restore, remediate and rehabilitate a person’s level of functioning and independence in life activities, to promote health and wellness as well as reduce or eliminate the activity limitations and restrictions to participation in life situations caused by an illness or disabling condition. A third definition is presented by Sylvester, Voelkl, and Ellis (2001):

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Therapeutic recreation is defined as a service that uses the modalities of activity therapy, education, and recreation to promote the health and well-being of persons who require specialized care because of illness, disability, or social condition. Furthermore, recognizing the potential of leisure for contributing to the quality of life of all people, therapeutic recreation facilitates leisure opportunities as an integral component of comprehensive care. Whereas these definitions are different, they do have common threads. Health and well- being/wellness are present in all three. Leisure and disability are mentioned in two of the definitions. There may not be a finite definition of therapeutic recreation, but a majority of professionals and academics alike do agree on the basics. As previously mentioned, there are many models of practice for therapeutic recreation and recreational therapy. When conceptualizing the definition, purpose, and role of the field, it is important to also consider what was proposed within these models. The Leisure Ability Model proposed by Peterson and Gunn in 1984 is the oldest model of therapeutic recreation practice (Stumbo & Peterson, 1998). This linear model proposes the role of the TR professional as decreasing in degree of involvement, the role of the participant in turn increasing, as the participant moves from functional improvement to leisure education and then arrives at recreation participation. According to this model “the overall intended outcome of therapeutic recreation services… is a satisfying, independent, and freely chosen leisure lifestyle” (p. 82). A slightly different perspective appears in Austin’s Health Protection/Health Promotion model (1998), in which the “purpose of therapeutic recreation is to assist

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persons to recover following threats to health (health protection) and to achieve as high a level of health as possible (health promotion)” (p. 110). In this model, health related outcomes are in the foreground and leisure has moved to the background. Leisure is prominent in Van Andel’s TR Service Delivery and TR Outcome Models (1998). In these models, the TR professional leads the participant through the service delivery and then transitions them into the outcome. According to Van Andel, “respect for clients involves informed consent and promotes independence and opportunities for self-determination” (p. 183). Outcomes are not only functional but also existential and all are seen as relevant to participant quality of life. One of the most recently introduced models of practice is the Leisure and Well- Being Model (Carruthers & Hood, 2007; Hood & Carruthers, 2007). This model, based on the principles of positive psychology, proposes that the one long-term goal of TR should be well-being. Their definition of well-being encompasses the whole person, physical, social-emotional, and cognitive, and thus is applicable to a multitude of possible participants. Leisure has a prominent role in this model as the authors call the experience of leisure a “proximal outcome” (Carruthers & Hood, 2007).The authors include autonomy and competence as two resources that can be developed to support well-being within their model (Hood & Carruthers, 2007). Considering these definitions and models, the author considers the purpose of TR to include bringing people, disabled or not, to a place of higher functioning through purposeful leisure and recreation in order to improve their overall health and well-being.

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Theoretical framework A field finds credibility by having deep theoretical roots (Bullock, 1998). Historically, few therapeutic recreation (TR) models of practice are founded in theory (Carruthers & Hood, 2007; Dattilo, Kleiber, & Williams, 1998). For many of the early models, theories were either not fully explained in the original appearance or they were applied after the model was introduced (Austin, 1998; Stumbo & Peterson, 1998; Van Andel, 1998; Widmer & Ellis, 1998). A lack of theoretical roots does not necessarily indicate a lack of validity; however, it does indicate a lack of empirical support. Those models not based on time-tested theories have a need to prove their claims. Just as a lack of theoretical groundings does not necessarily indicate a lack of validity, being firmly steeped in theory does not guarantee a model will be applicable in the field. In order to determine the practicality of the models, they must be put to the test of systematic research (Mobily, 1999). A review of the journals displays a paucity of such research on the models, Stumbo and Peterson’s Leisure Ability Model being the exception. Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists (CTRSs) do not often rely on models of practice, accepted theories, or established research when developing treatment plans and setting goals and objectives for participants. They do often rely on prior experience. CTRSs cannot be confident that they are providing an optimal experience if they are basing their planning solely on what seemed to get good results in the past for similar participants. Interventions based on scholarly research and carried out according to a theoretically grounded model of practice are much more likely to emit positive outcomes.

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There are many people with disabilities. TR professionals are prime candidates for serving the needs of individuals with all types of disabilities. In order to do this, an effective way to serve must be determined. Recipients of TR services will not participate if they are not motivated to do so. Equally, they are more likely to continue participating after they are no longer receiving services if they are intrinsically motivated to do so. Not much is known about how to support intrinsic motivation. Very little is known about supporting intrinsic motivation within the leisure field. According to Dattilo and Kleiber (1993), “Individuals who are intrinsically motivated in certain situations are more likely to learn, adapt, and grow in competencies that characterize development”. Intrinsically motivated participants with the ability to learn, adapt, and grow will be likely to accomplish TR goals. Conceptual Framework Self-determination theory (SDT) was introduced over twenty years ago by two psychologists, Edward Deci and Richard Ryan (1985). Their theory proposes that all humans have three basic needs: autonomy, competence, and relatedness. People feel autonomous when they are making decisions for themselves without outside pressures. Acting autonomously is also seen as operating with an internal locus of control. Those operating with an external locus of control are not acting autonomously. Competence involves people feeling like they know what they are doing and they are capable in their pursuit. Lastly, relatedness indicates that people feel connected to others, like they belong with a particular group, and that the group cares about them as individuals.

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Reaching these needs is effected by two factors: how determined people are, and whether or not they are being nurtured by the social environment (Deci and Ryan, 2002). It is helpful to view the concepts of self-determination and non-self-determination as the personality variable of internal or external locus of control. When people are making autonomous choices they are operating from an internal perceived locus of control and are working towards self-determination. An internal perceived locus of control indicates a belief in personal control over circumstances. When extrinsic rewards are at the focal point people are then operating from an external perceived locus of control, which is also sometimes referred to as heteronomy (Kasser & Ryan, 1999). An external perceived locus of control indicates a belief in no personal control over circumstances. In the context of self-determination theory (SDT), intrinsic motivation is present when people are motivated for participating in an activity by the activity itself. Extrinsic motivation occurs when people are motivated by something other than the activity. A third type of motivation is amotivation. This is when there is a total lack of intention to act. It is in one of four mini-theories of self-determination, organismic integration theory, that extrinsic motivation is more fully explored and its levels are subsequently illustrated as a part of the self-determination continuum (Ryan & Deci, 2000). The continuum begins at amotivation, continues through the different levels of extrinsic motivation, and ends at intrinsic motivation. The theorists have described four regulatory styles involved in extrinsic motivation that range from least to most autonomous as well as least to most self-determined: external, introjected, identified, and integrated. Intrinsic regulation is

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associated with intrinsic motivation. It is possible for people to be extrinsically motivated and display self-determined behaviors when they have identified or integrated their regulation. This means that those people have most likely identified with their motivations, seen them as important, and aligned them with their personal values and belief system. It is in these two regulatory styles that people have also begun to operate from a more internal locus of causality and feel in control (to a degree) of the situation. Whereas Ryan and Deci (2000) do describe intrinsically motivated behaviors as the “prototype” of self-determined actions, they do ascribe to the possibility of extrinsically motivated behaviors being self-determined. When people are determined and their environment supports autonomy, competence, and relatedness needs they are more likely to be on the intrinsic motivation end of the self-determination continuum (Ryan & Deci, 2000). When people are not determined and perceive themselves to be incompetent in achieving their outcomes, they are amotivated. Possible benefits to people whose needs have been satisfied can include the optimization of personal well-being and social development (Deci and Ryan, 2002). People consistently experiencing amotivation are likely to develop learned helplessness as a response to their perceived lack of control over circumstances (Deci & Ryan, 1985). The importance of autonomy, relatedness, competence, the three basic psychological needs established by self-determination theory, is largely unstudied in general, and has never been studied in TR. Instead of using the theory as one unit researchers are choosing which pieces of the theory they see to be the most useful. On a few occasions SDT has been the framework of TR research studies (Mahon, 1994; Hill &

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Sibthorp, 2006; Carruthers, Platz & Busser, 2006; Sklar, Anderson & Autry, 2007, & Heo, Lee, Lundberg, McCormick & Chun, 2008). Dattilo and Kleiber’s Self- Determination and Enjoyment Enhancement service delivery model is based on elements of the theory. More often when one sees “self-determination” in the TR literature it is being mentioned as a desirable part of a leisure skill-set and referred to as self- determination skills. A similarity among many of the models of practice is the inclusion of the concept of self-determination. Despite this, few employ the actual concepts of self-determination theory. If SDT has the possibility of guiding TR practice in terms of programming to help people fulfill the three needs, the absence of which is ill-being (Ryan & Deci, 2000), then a way to incorporate SDT into programming in order to fulfill these needs must be researched. The possible efficacy of this incorporation must be well established before it can be recommended to practitioners. The millions of Americans with disabilities have the possibility of receiving benefits from participation in therapeutic recreation services. The concepts of self- determination theory have the possibility of assisting in the reception of those benefits if incorporated in therapeutic recreation programming in such a way as to support intrinsic motivation. To determine how to incorporate the concepts they must first be experimentally explored. Looking at the concepts in the context of an experimental design will help to establish causality (Rosenthal & Rosnow, 2008).

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The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of autonomy supportive, competence supportive, and relatedness supportive messages, on intrinsic motivation in a recreation context.

Research Question Is each of the three components of SDT individually important to the facilitation of intrinsic motivation? Research Hypotheses Hø: Written messages intended to support autonomy will not result in rated need satisfaction for autonomy. Ha: Written messages intended to support autonomy will result in rated need satisfaction for autonomy. Hø: Written messages intended to support relatedness will not result in rated need satisfaction for relatedness. Ha: Written messages intended to support relatedness will result in rated need satisfaction for relatedness. Hø: Written messages intended to support competence will not result in rated need satisfaction for competence. Ha: Written messages intended to support competence will result in rated need satisfaction for competence. Hø: Written messages that support autonomy will not effect intrinsic motivation. Ha: Written messages that support autonomy will effect intrinsic motivation.

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Hø: Written messages that support relatedness will not effect intrinsic motivation. Ha: Written messages that support relatedness will effect intrinsic motivation. Hø: Written messages that support competence will not effect intrinsic motivation. Ha: Written messages that support competence will effect intrinsic motivation. Hø: Written messages that support autonomy, relatedness, and competence will not effect choice of activity during free time. Ha: Written messages that support autonomy, relatedness, and competence will affect choice of activity during free time. Explanation of terms In this study, disability refers to vision and hearing impairments, mobility impairments, learning disabilities, mental conditions, and developmental disabilities. Individuals eligible for TR services are those disabled or not, as disability does not include individuals with acute or chronic illnesses, caregivers, or many others that could benefit from purposeful recreation. In regards to the messages, a message is supportive when it is intended to enhance or fulfill the need, and it is non-supportive when it is intended to detract from the fulfillment of the need. Intrinsic motivation is defined by Ryan and Deci (2000) as “the inherent tendency to seek out novelty and challenges, to extend and exercise one’s capacities, to explore, and to learn.” In intrinsic motivation “the satisfaction gained through the activity [is] seen as coming from engaging in the activity itself” (Neulinger, 1974). According to Russell (2002), it is what “makes leisure unique among all other human experiences.” Dissertation Outline

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This dissertation is a hybrid of the traditional format and a newer, more functional, format. There are two supporting chapters (Chapters 1 & 4), and two individual articles in journal style (Chapter 2 & 3). Chapter One sets the stage for the overall project with the initial problem statement, an overview of the literature, the study purpose, research questions and hypotheses, and an explanation of terms. Chapters Two and Three are presented as two independent journal articles suitable for submission to peer-reviewed journals. More specifically, the purpose of the first article is to examine the effect of autonomy supportive, competence supportive, and relatedness supportive messages, on intrinsic motivation via experimental manipulation in a recreation context. The purpose of the second article is to show why autonomy, competence, and relatedness are important for older adults and discuss practical ways to support these needs in nursing facilities. Chapter Four gathers together the results in a summative manner and provides some overall recommendations for practitioners and researchers. Also, five appendices have been included. Appendix A is the full script of messages delivered to the participants. Appendix B is the instruction sheet participants read during the manipulation in order to understand how to play Boggle. Appendices C and D are the instruments used in the study. Lastly, Appendix E is a copy of the IRB approval letter.

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CHAPTER TWO (MANUSCRIPT #1) THE EFFICACY OF VERBAL MESSAGES SUPPORTIVE OF AUTONOMY, RELATEDNESS, AND COMPETENCE IN INCREASING PARTICIPANT INTRINSIC MOTIVATION Intended outlet Therapeutic Recreation Journal

Abstract Participants are more likely to benefit from therapeutic recreation services if they are intrinsically motivated to participate. Self-determination theory identifies intrinsic motivation as the prototype of self-determined behavior (Deci & Ryan, 2002). To determine the relevance of autonomy, competence, and relatedness, the three components of self-determination theory, to intrinsic motivation in a therapeutic recreation environment, this study experimentally manipulated these components in a 2 x 2 x 2 design. A novel activity systematically varying in component support was introduced to 101 undergraduate students. The Intrinsic Motivation Inventory was administered following the manipulation and participants were observed during a free-choice period to see if they chose to continue the activity as measures of intrinsic interest. Supporting competence and relatedness had main effects on intrinsic motivation. Supporting autonomy and relatedness together was also found to have a significant effect on intrinsic motivation. Implications for therapeutic recreation are discussed. KEYWORDS: intrinsic motivation, self-determination theory, verbal messages, experimental manipulation, autonomy, competence, relatedness

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As of 2005, there were approximately 54.4 million individuals in the United States of America living with some level of disability (Brault, 2008). Many of these people receive therapeutic recreation services. It is important to engage individuals with disabilities in the therapy process as it has the possibility to improve their quality of life (Robertson & Long, 2008). As there are numerous positive outcomes for those who continue therapy, mechanisms that support participation are crucial. Intrinsically motivated and self-determined participants are highly likely to be engaged in behavior change settings and continue to engage in the behaviors after the treatment is completed (Sheldon, Williams & Joiner, 2003). Within self-determination theory Deci & Ryan (1985) propose if a persons’ basic psychological needs of autonomy, competence, and relatedness are being fulfilled the person is more likely to be self-determined and thus more likely to be intrinsically motivated. Autonomy is an evident concept included in every TR practice model (Sylvester, 2005). Another necessary element for self- determination is relatedness. As a TR starts to develop rapport with a client, the seeds of relatedness are sown. Relatedness continues to grow through interactions with the TR and can blossom more grandly in multiple group settings. The third element to self- determination is competence. A frequent goal of the TR professional is to create a feeling of competence in their participants. If participants are not competent they will not be able to continue the behavior regardless of whether or not they are motivated. While self-determination theory and its proposals on intrinsic motivation fit well with therapeutic recreation, a literature review yielded few results in support of intrinsic motivation within TR. Very little is known about supporting intrinsic motivation within

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the leisure field overall. Supporting intrinsic motivation could be accomplished by utilizing the concepts of self-determination theory. According to Dattilo and Kleiber (1993), “Individuals who are intrinsically motivated in certain situations are more likely to learn, adapt, and grow in competencies that characterize development”. If TR goals are going to be accomplished, participants need to be able to learn, adapt, and grow, and thus, it would be valuable for them to be intrinsically motivated in those situations. Past research in TR has included self-determination theory in different ways. It is commonly referred to briefly as part of the literature review, however it is not referred to in the context of the results (Kensinger, Gibson & Ashton-Shaeffer, 2007; Lundberg, Widmer, McCormick & Ward, 2005/2006; Sklar, Anderson & Autry, 2007). Other times it is applied in the planning stages yet only portions of the theory are considered (Ashton- Shaeffer, Shelton & Johnson, 1995; Carruthers, Platz & Busser, 2006: Gaudet & Datttilo, 1994; Mahon, 1994; Sklar, Anderson & Autry, 2007; Williams & Dattilo, 1997). In these occasions the researchers generally discuss the importance of autonomy and sometimes mention competence, the few times relatedness is considered as a factor it is not deemed as important (Heo, Lee, Lundberg, McCormick & Chun, 2008; Hill & Sibthorp, 2006). Whereas practitioners and researchers alike may not share a singular philosophy in regards to where therapy and recreation meet, common elements such as health, well- being, leisure and disability appear in various writings. Intrinsic motivation is considered a required element for leisure. Despite philosophy, it is important to engage participants. Increasing intrinsic motivation is one compelling way to engage participants.

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Conceptual Foundation Self-determination Theory Self-determination theory (SDT) was introduced over twenty years ago by two psychologists, Edward Deci and Richard Ryan (1985). Their theory proposes that all humans have three basic psychological needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness. People feel autonomous when they are making decisions for themselves without outside pressures. Competence involves people feeling like they know what they are doing and they are capable in their pursuit. Lastly, relatedness indicates feeling connected to others, like they belong with a particular group, and that the group cares about them. Attainment of these needs is effected by two factors: how determined people are, and whether or not they are being nurtured by the social environment (Deci and Ryan, 2002). When people are determined and their environment is meeting these three needs they are likely to be more intrinsically motivated and less extrinsically motivated (Ryan & Deci, 2000). Possible benefits to people whose needs have been satisfied can include the optimization of personal well-being and social development (Deci and Ryan, 2002). For a diagram of the proposed relationship between autonomy, competence, and relatedness, and self- determination and intrinsic motivation, see Figure 1.

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Figure 1. Fulfillment of Needs Results in Intrinsically Motivated, Self-Determined People.

Presence of self-determination theory in Therapeutic Recreation

Instead of using self-determination theory and autonomy, competence, and relatedness as one unit, past TR researchers have chosen which pieces of the theory they see to be the most useful. On a few occasions SDT has been the foundation of TR research studies. In 1994, Mahon looked at the facilitation of self-determination through the use of self-control techniques in individuals with developmental disabilities. His focus was on decision-making skills. Gaudet and Dattilo (1994) utilized SDT in a similar way in their study of adults with cognitive impairments and the re-acquisition of recreation skills. They discuss self-determination in general and do not specifically consider relatedness. The focus on individuals with developmental disabilities is

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continued with Ashton-Shaeffer, Shelton and Johnson (1995). They discuss the role of self-determination skills in assisting adolescents with disabilities in transitioning from school to vocational training and employment. Williams and Dattilo (1997) looked at the effect of leisure education on self-determination, as defined by choice-making, in young adults with developmental disabilities. They were unable to establish a causal relationship between the education program and self-determination. In a departure from the focus on individuals with developmental disabilities, Hill and Sibthorp (2006) took a self-determination theory approach to TR at a diabetes camp. Whereas their main goal was to create an autonomy supportive environment, they fostered competence and relatedness needs as well. They found autonomy support in the camp to enhance perceptions of relatedness for the campers (2006). Carruthers, Platz and Busser (2006) looked at an entirely different portion of the theory when looking into gambling motivations. They characterized participant motivation toward gambling as amotivation, extrinsic motivation, or intrinsic motivation. Sklar, Anderson and Autry’s 2007 study on a wilderness intervention and positive youth development contributed another perspective. They discussed the importance of autonomy and competence, but not relatedness, as part of a motivational framework in their literature review yet do not connect it to the results in the discussion. Lastly, Heo, Lee, Lundberg, McCormick and Chun (2008) investigated development of self-determination through participation in adaptive sports by measuring satisfaction of all three needs. They found that participants with higher levels of self-determination also scored high on serious leisure, as demonstrated by strong identification and consistent behavior.

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A model for therapeutic recreation practice that places high emphasis on self- determination theory is the Self-Determination and Enjoyment and Enhancement Model (Dattilo, Kleiber, & Williams, 1998). This model employs SDT as one of the foundational pieces including it as one of the six components of the model. In the visual depiction of the model, self-determination is located between functional improvement and intrinsic motivation. It is at this point in the model that an individual with a disability is believed to develop self-awareness, make decisions and choices, set goals, and communicate preferences (Dattilo et al., 1998). Whereas the autonomy aspect of self- determination is included, relatedness and competence are not discussed. A similarity among many of the other models of practice is the inclusion of the concept of self- determination (Sylvester, 2005). Despite this, few employ the three needs proposed by self-determination theory. If SDT has the possibility of guiding TR practice in terms of programming to help people fulfill the three needs, the absence of which is ill-being (Ryan & Deci, 2000), then a way to incorporate SDT into programming in order to fulfill these needs must be researched. The consideration of how TR services help to either prohibit or inhibit the fulfillment of autonomy, competence and relatedness should be on the mind of all practitioners (Heo, et al., 2008). In order to establish recommended ways for practitioners to incorporate these ideas in their participant interactions they must first be further explored with research.

Full document contains 93 pages
Abstract: The purpose of this dissertation was to explore the relevance of autonomy, competence, and relatedness, the three innate psychological needs proposed by self-determination theory, to participant intrinsic motivation. The three needs of SDT have not previously been examined in an exploratory manner or applied to efficacy research in therapeutic recreation. If applied, therapists could use them to increase intrinsic motivation towards interventions in their participants. The first manuscript discusses intrinsic motivation and self-determination and their presence in leisure and therapeutic recreation research. It details the experimental manipulation of autonomy, competence, and relatedness in a 2 x 2 x 2 design. A novel activity systematically varying in component support was introduced to 101 undergraduate students. The Intrinsic Motivation Inventory and Rated Needs Satisfaction were administered following the manipulation and participants were observed during a free-choice period to see if they chose to continue the activity as measures of intrinsic interest. Supporting competence and relatedness had main effects on intrinsic motivation. Supporting autonomy and relatedness together was also found to have a significant effect on intrinsic motivation. Implications for therapeutic recreation are discussed. The second manuscript reviews the importance of autonomy, competence, and relatedness in the lives of older adults, their impact on psychological well-being, and frequent absence in long term care settings. Research that addresses these deficits is then discussed with suggestions for application.