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Understanding Goal Motivations in Deprived Contexts: Perspectives of Adults in Two Rural South African Communities

Abstract

The aim of the present study was to explore and describe the goals and motivations underlying them for adults living in rural African contexts using an inductive approach. Seventy participants (n = 25 males, n = 45 females) between 43 and 89 years (mean age 60.85 years) were selected from a total of N = 537 residing in the rural Ganyesa and Tlakgameng communities in South Africa. Participants were asked to indicate the three most important goals in their present lives and then provide reasons why each of these goals was important to them. Themes emerging from the data analysis referred to financial security, meeting social needs, environmental considerations, generative caring, and relational goals. Goal motivations were not mere intrinsic processes aimed at personal need satisfaction, but had a strong interdependent focus embedded in existing relational ties. Based on the findings we conceptualise an integration of key constructs found in diverse perspectives used in goal research and emphasise the unique role of contextual factors in the understanding of goals and motivations underlying them. These findings highlight important considerations in the enhancement of the quality of life of rural residents of Ganyesa and Tlakgameng.

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Acknowledgements

This research was financially supported by the National Research Foundation (NRF) of South Africa. Opinions expressed and conclusions arrived at are those of the author and are not necessarily to be attributed to the NRF.

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Correspondence to Angelina Wilson.

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Wilson, A., Wissing, M.P., Schutte, L. et al. Understanding Goal Motivations in Deprived Contexts: Perspectives of Adults in Two Rural South African Communities. Applied Research Quality Life 14, 113–129 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11482-017-9583-y

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Keywords

  • Goals
  • Needs
  • Motives
  • Rural community
  • South Africa