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

Faculty Sponsor

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 affect their motivation. The purpose of my research was to examine whether hospital volunteers who set personal goals would increase their intrinsic motivation and tenure at a particular site. My research questions were: “Is there an effect on intrinsic motivation from a goal-setting intervention in hospital volunteers?” and “Will a goal-setting intervention help hospital volunteers set stronger goals?” Eight volunteer participants, 16-21 years old, were recruited from a local medical care facility. This study implemented a mixed-method wait-list design; participants completed a pre-test, a motivational intervention, and posttest. The intervention focused on assisting volunteers with goal setting and creating an action plan to achieve those goals. Intrinsic motivation was assessed using a modified Volunteer Function Inventory and the Modified Intrinsic Motivation Inventory. Participants’ goals were coded and scored for specificity, measurability, and difficulty. There was not a significant difference between the intervention and control groups’ intrinsic motivation.

UNCO Undergraduate Verification