Date of Award

Fall 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Foundations & Leadership

Committee Director

Dennis Gregory

Committee Member

Tony Perez

Committee Member

Mitchell R. Williams


The primary research objective of this qualitative study is to determine if self-determination theory is applicable to the population of the recently incarcerated. If it is applicable, self-determination theory may be a new method of examining the educational motivations of prisoners and the recently incarcerated. Twelve subjects from the western region of Virginia were interviewed. Each had been in prison for more than six months within the past five years; each also held a general education diploma or equivalent. Subject responses were coded via the three major tenets of self-determination theory: competence, relatedness, and autonomy. Additionally, the researcher coded language that indicated a motivation as well as external and internal motivation. The results should assist researchers in determining the efficacy of applying self-determination theory to the specific population of the recently incarcerated.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).