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

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Rena Kirkland


With the objective of increasing volunteer retention, hospital administrators are interested in fostering volunteers’ motivation to continue working in the departments in which they have been placed. However, there is limited research on hospital volunteers’ motivation and whether setting goals will affect their motivation. The purpose of my research, therefore, is to examine whether hospital volunteers who set personal goals will increase their intrinsic motivation and tenure at a particular site. My research question is: does a goal-setting intervention affect the intrinsic motivation of hospital volunteers? Volunteer participants, 16-25 years old, will be recruited from a local medical care facility. This study will implement a mixed-method wait-list design; participants will complete a pre-test, a motivational intervention, and post-test. The intervention will focus on assisting volunteers with goal setting in addition to creating an action plan to achieve those goals. Intrinsic motivation will be assessed using a Volunteer Function Inventory and the Modified Intrinsic Motivation Inventory. Participants’ goals will be coded and scored for specificity, measurable, and difficulty. A one-way analysis of variance will be performed to examine differences between the intervention and wait-list control groups regarding scores on the Modified Intrinsic Motivation Inventory, Volunteer Function Inventory, and goals. I hypothesize that the goal-setting intervention will help volunteers in the experimental group set stronger goals (more specific, measurable, and difficult), which will increase their intrinsic motivation compared to the wait-list control.

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