This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Examining the Reliability and Validity of a Measure of Child Care Provider Motivation




Ma, YanLing

Type of Degree



Human Development and Family Studies


The concept of motivation in the child care area has not been based in theory and no standard measure has been used to assess it. The limited work examining the influence of providers’ motivation on care giving quality has shown mixed results. The current study proposed to examine providers’ motivation from the perspectives of functional theory and self-determination theory (SDT) using a 20-item motivation measure developed to assess the motivation of family child care providers enrolled in a quality enhancement program in the state of Alabama. One hundred ninety providers completed the measure. Principal component analyses, alpha analyses, and correlation analyses were conducted to test the reliability and construct validity for the motivation measure in the current study. The results showed that there was just one underlying construct and no construct validity for the current motivation measure. This reinforces the need to develop theoretically derived measures of motivation and to clearly define the questions about motivation being asked (e.g., motivation to enter child care profession, motivation to provide child care, motivation for involving with children). Limitations and directions for future research were also discussed.