Motivation and Emotion

, Volume 34, Issue 4, pp 354–362 | Cite as

Motivation for and commitment to social values: The roles of age and gender

  • Patty Ferssizidis
  • Leah M. Adams
  • Todd B. Kashdan
  • Christine Plummer
  • Anjali Mishra
  • Joseph Ciarrochi
Original Paper


The primary aim of this study was to examine how motives and commitment to social values influence well-being in men and women of different ages. College students and older adults in the community reported on their motivational orientation (intrinsic vs. extrinsic), behavioral commitment to idiographic social values, and their current well-being (satisfaction with life, positive and negative affect). We tested a series of path models with motivational orientation mediating the relationship between commitment to values and well-being. Consistent with self-determination theory, we found that behavioral commitment to intrinsically motivating social values was related to greater life satisfaction and positive affect, whereas being committed to extrinsically motivating values was related to greater negative affect. While age and gender did not moderate these relationships, meaningful age and gender differences emerged across value-based motivations, commitment, and indices of well-being. This work adds to our understanding of how values are a guiding influence for successful navigation of one’s social world.


Values Intrinsic motivation Self-determination Happiness Life satisfaction Positive emotion Negative emotion 



This research was supported by National Institute of Mental Health grant MH-73937 to Todd B. Kashdan


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patty Ferssizidis
    • 1
  • Leah M. Adams
    • 1
  • Todd B. Kashdan
    • 1
  • Christine Plummer
    • 1
  • Anjali Mishra
    • 2
  • Joseph Ciarrochi
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of California, DavisDavisUSA
  3. 3.School of PsychologyUniversity of WollongongWollongongAustralia

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