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'Mastery motivation' is a multi-faceted psychological force, which drives the individual to gain control over skills or complete challenging missions.

'Mastery motivation' contains two component: an instrumental component, which is used to describe the amount of motivation present in facing or completing a task and an expressive component, which relates to the emotional affects that accompany the challenge. Both of which are assessed by questionnaires.

Studies have shown that 'Mastery Motivation' reflects the cognitive, emotional, social, motoric and psycho-motoric capabilities of the child and is a touchstone of proper development. Evaluating 'Mastery Motivation' can also be used as the basis of any developmental intervention plan.

The ecological model also influences this study, that takes into account both internal and surrounding factors that influence child development.


Aim of this study was to determine to what level intra- and inter-personal factors influence 'Mastery Motivation' and to which degree these factors are predictable and controllable.

Intra-persona factors include temperament, sensory processing, and age of birth among others. Inter personal factors are environmental factors surrounding the individual such as family and community (Bronfenbrenner, 1917).

30 preterm and 20 full term toddlers between the ages of 12-24 month were tested using the Griffith test (performance assessment). In addition, of this evaluation an examiner and a parent questionnaire were conducted, for assessing 'Mastery motivation'.
The questionnaire contains temperament and sensory regulation scales as well as demographic data.

This study shows that parents of pre-term toddlers' estimates their child's 'Mastery Motivation higher than parents of full term toddlers. On the other hand, involved physical therapists (researcher) assessed full term toddlers having a higher score than pre-term toddlers. A correlation between effort to complete tasks and temperament was found only amongst full-term toddlers.  

'Mastery Motivation' is an assessment tool for diagnosis and treatment.
In this study, there was a difference in scores between parental assessment of premature toddlers and the researcher's assessment. Full term toddlers showed more maturity in coping with tasks. Intra-personal components such as temperament have also been shown to have an impact on 'mastery motivation', especially in full term toddlers.

'Mastery Motivation' can be a focal point in treatment and evaluating physical therapy and progress assessment.

I presented this lecture in EUPPT = European Pediatric Physiotherapy Congress in Utrecht,
in November 21 - 23, 2019

'Mastery Motivation' Characteristics among Preterm vs. Full Term Toddlers – Ecological Perspective
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