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Gottfried, A. E. (2016). Intrinsic Motivation and Goals. Invited chapter in H. Friedman (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Mental Health, 2nd Edition. Vol 2, Waltham, MA: Academic Press, pp. 417-422.
Academic intrinsic motivation concerns the enjoyment of learning for its own sake without receiving external rewards, and intrinsic motivation is recognized as being important for individuals’ well-being and mental health. From childhood through adulthood, a substantial body of research shows that academic intrinsic motivation is a significant factor with regard to academic and educational well-being. Individuals with higher levels of academic intrinsic motivation evidence pervasively greater and consistently higher academic and educational competence, and leadership. On the other hand, individuals with lower academic intrinsic motivation, fare less well, and may become at-risk for adverse outcomes. Development of academic intrinsic motivation across childhood and adolescence is presented, and trends that contribute to both positive and negative long-term outcomes are discussed. Finally, home and school environments play a role in the stimulation of academic intrinsic motivation, and suggestions for intervention are advanced.