Motivation and Emotion

, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 306–316 | Cite as

Childhood correlates of adult levels of incongruence between implicit and explicit motives

Original Paper

Abstract

The present study used archival longitudinal data from 5 years old children and their mothers to explore mother and child characteristics associated with motive incongruence 26 years later. Motive incongruence was assessed in terms of discrepancies between implicit and explicit measures of the need for achievement, power and affiliation. Previous research has suggested that trait self-determination, which involves self-awareness and perceived volition in one’s actions, moderates the level of implicit/explicit motive incongruence. We hypothesized that early childhood experiences that interfere with the development of self-determination would be associated with later motive incongruence. Our results showed that childhood factors that reflected mother–child difficulties in the areas of autonomy and relatedness were significantly related to adult levels of motive incongruence. Specifically, adult motive incongruence was significantly associated with strong maternal inhibition of the child’s dependent and sexual impulses, maternal separation during the child’s second year, and mother reports of feeling dominated by the child. Limitations of the data are discussed.

Keywords

Implicit motives Explicit motives Motive incongruence Childrearing pattern Development Self-determination Basic need satisfaction 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of TUM Graduate School’s Faculty Graduate Center TUM School of Management at Technische Universität München, Germany. This study was funded by grants from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and the Fonds Québécois de Recherche sur la Société et la Culture, Quebec (FQRSC) to Richard Koestner.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kaspar Schattke
    • 1
    • 3
  • Richard Koestner
    • 2
  • Hugo M. Kehr
    • 1
  1. 1.TUM School of ManagementTechnische Universität MünchenMunichGermany
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  3. 3.Lehrstuhl für PsychologieTechnische Universität MünchenMunichGermany

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