The quality of volunteers’ motives: Integrating the functional approach and self-determination theory
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Volunteers’ motives have been differentially linked to various aspects of successful volunteering. Using self-determination theory, we propose that volunteer functions are systematically related to the experience of self-determined versus controlled motivation. This “quality ofmotivation,” in turn, explains why motives are differentially associated with satisfaction. We conducted two studies: Study 1 (N1 = 824) addressed motives, quality of motivation, and satisfaction; Study 2 (N2 = 323) additionally examined function-specific benefits and the extent to which they match volunteers’ motives. Overall, our hypotheses were supported: values, understanding, and social justice motives were positively associated with relatively self-determinedmotivation (RSM), whereas career, social, protective, and enhancement motives showed negative correlations. The relationships between motives and satisfaction were partially mediated by RSM. Concerning benefits, Study 2 corroborated these findings for values, protective, enhancement, and social justice. This research introduces a new perspective on the quality of volunteers’ motives—with theoretical and practical implications.
The Journal of Social Psychology