Ursidae: The Undergraduate Research Journal at the University of Northern Colorado


Elia R. Martin

Faculty Sponsor

Teresa McDevitt


The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship among academic self-concept, motivation and academic achievement among African American and other college students with different ethnicities. Self-Determination Theory is used as a framework to help understand college students’ academic motivation. Existing research in this area has not tended to focus much on ethnicity; yet preliminary information suggests that associations among academic self-concept, motivation, and achievement of African American college students take distinct forms from other ethnic groups. This study uses the Academic Motivational Scale (Vallerand, 1989) to measure intrinsic and extrinsic motivation for college students, the Academic Self-Concept Scale (Reynolds, 1988) to measure self-concept, and self-reported GPAs to measure academic achievement. Data were collected using Qualtrics online surveying system. This research is intended to be beneficial for educators such that colleges can be structured in a way that meets the motivational needs of all ethnic students.