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Using Self-Determination Theory to Understand Youth Engagement in Civic Organizations


Rachel Lebeda

on 11 June 2015

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Transcript of Using Self-Determination Theory to Understand Youth Engagement in Civic Organizations

IORG Oklahoma Jurisdiction Assembly Membership
(Ryan & Deci, 2000)
The Self-Determination Continuum
A crucial problem for the emerging field of youth development is to understand the process of change whereby disengaged youth become engaged and motivated by program activities (Dawes & Larson, 2011).

To increase membership, current members need to analyze what it is about the organization that they enjoy and find beneficial so they can capitalize on those characteristics.
Summary of Key Results
Congruency in reasons for motivation (Adults perception & IORG Members experience)
Dawes & Larson’s Personal Connections

Responses will be
Transcribed and stored electronically
Grouped and coded thematically
Specific activities reported favorably and frequency described relating to
competence, and/or
engagement and motivation change over time?
Data Analysis
(Ryan & Deci, 2000)
Self-Determination Theory
(Schaufeli, Salanova, González-Romá, & Bakker, 2002)

Founded in 1922 by Reverend W. Mark Sexson
Originally for daughters of Masons and their friends
Based on the teachings of faith, hope, and charity
Teaches communication and leadership skills
Encourages cooperation and community service
Rachel Wallen
Using Self-Determination Theory to Understand Youth Engagement in Civic Organizations
7 Focus Group Questions adapted from Dawes’ & Larson, 2011
Reasons for joining, motivation/ amotivation?
Favorite/ least favorite activities?

Age specific focus groups
Consultant will facilitate discussion and tape record the interviews
Measures and Procedure
Which specific program activities and organizational characteristics do the members report as contributing to their engagement?

Does member engagement change over time?

Does IORG fulfill the basic needs of autonomy, competence, and relatedness? If so, does it relate to engagement?
Research Questions
To assess current IORG members’ motivation to participate in the program and changes in engagement over time
Proposed Study
How Youth Get Engaged: Grounded-Theory Research on Motivational Development in Organized Youth Programs.
Focus Groups
Sampling of Assemblies
Broken Arrow
Novice (11-13)
53 participants
Junior (14-16)
40 participants
Senior (17-20)
44 participants
N = 137 Members
Increase in youth entertainment & leisure opportunities,
i.e. internet, social media, etc.
Character building through
ethics & philanthropy: 4-H, Boy Scouts, & Girl Scouts
Youth Organizations
National awareness of volunteerism, led to revival of interest in youth service programs
Youth-led Civil Rights Movement
(Dawes & Larson, 2011)
Longitudinal Membership Decline
Engaging Youth
Sampling Participants
Focus Groups
100 youth in 10 youth programs were interviewed over time to determine what motivates them to participate

Personal connections between the self and the activity lead to intrinsic motivation; youth can develop intrinsic motivation while participating in program activities
Personal Connection
Learning for the Future
Pursuing a Purpose
Developing Competence
autonomy, relatedness, competence
Does IORG fulfill basic needs?
If basic needs are fulfilled, does this relate to the members’ engagement?

Future implementations
Alumni – what activities to re-engage?
Full transcript