, Volume 39, Issue 3, pp 521-531
Date: 07 Oct 2008

Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation for Stereotypic and Repetitive Behavior

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Abstract

This study provides evidence for intrinsic and extrinsic motivators for stereotypical and repetitive behavior in children with autism and intellectual disability and children with intellectual disability alone. We modified the Motivation Assessment Scale (MAS) (1988b); dividing it into intrinsic and extrinsic measures and adding items to assess anxiety as an intrinsic motivator. Rasch analysis of data from 279 MASs (74 children) revealed that the items formed two unidimensional scales. Anxiety was a more likely intrinsic motivator than sensory seeking for children with dual diagnoses; the reverse was true for children with intellectual disability only. Escape and gaining a tangible object were the most common extrinsic motivators for those with dual diagnoses and attention and escape for children with intellectual disability.