The school experiences of Native American and Alaska Native students: A closer look at self determination theory

Elaine Smith Bontempi
Department of Educational Psychology, University of Oklahoma
August, 2006
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Multiple regression was performed to examine how well need satisfaction predicted the G.P.A. and well being scores of American Indian college students. In addition, open ended questions asked students about perceived contributions and barriers to academic success. Participants were 76 American Indian college students who were currently attending or had recently graduated from college in Oklahoma. Results indicated that need satisfaction was not a good predictor of G.P.A. or well being, but the results of paired samples t tests and qualitative questions revealed that relatedness played a central role in high school and college success, and both relatedness and competence played key roles in college success. Furthermore, the results of qualitative data indicated that relatedness and competence played major roles in perceived barriers to academic success.