Advances in Health Sciences Education

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 183-195

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Validity evidence for the measurement of the strength of motivation for medical school

  • Rashmi KusurkarAffiliated withCenter for Research and Development of Education, UMC UtrechtRudolf Magnus Institute of Neuroscience, UMC Utrecht Email author 
  • , Gerda CroisetAffiliated withInstitute for Education and Training, VU University Medical Center Amsterdam
  • , Cas KruitwagenAffiliated withDepartment of Biostatistics in the Julius Center, UMC Utrecht
  • , Olle ten CateAffiliated withCenter for Research and Development of Education, UMC Utrecht


The Strength of Motivation for Medical School (SMMS) questionnaire is designed to determine the strength of motivation of students particularly for medical study. This research was performed to establish the validity evidence for measuring strength of motivation for medical school. Internal structure and relations to other variables were used as the sources of validity evidence. The SMMS questionnaire was filled out by 1,494 medical students in different years of medical curriculum. The validity evidence for the internal structure was analyzed by principal components analysis with promax rotation. Validity evidence for relations to other variables was tested by comparing the SMMS scores with scores on the Academic Motivation Scale (AMS) and the exhaustion scale of Maslach Burnout Inventory-Student Survey (MBI-SS) for measuring study stress. Evidence for internal consistency was determined through the Cronbach’s alpha for reliability. The analysis showed that the SMMS had a 3-factor structure. The validity in relations to other variables was established as both, the subscales and full scale scores significantly correlated positively with the intrinsic motivation scores and with the more autonomous forms of extrinsic motivation, the correlation decreasing and finally becoming negative towards the extrinsic motivation end of the spectrum. They also had significant negative correlations with amotivation scale of the AMS and exhaustion scale of MBI-SS. The Cronbach’s alpha for reliability of the three subscales and full SMMS scores was 0.70, 0.67, 0.55 and 0.79. The strength of motivation for medical school has a three factor structure and acceptable validity evidence was found in our study.


Strength Motivation Questionnaire Validity Medical school Medical students