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Self-determination theory postulates various types of motivation can be placed on a continuum accordingto their level of relative autonomy, or self-determination. We analyze this question through the applica-tion of a bifactor-ESEM framework to the Academic Motivation Scale, completed by undergraduate(N= 547; Study 1) and graduate (N= 571; Study 2) students. In both studies, the results showed thatbifactor-ESEM was well-suited to modeling the continuum of academic motivation, and provided asimultaneous assessment of the global level of self-determination and of the specific motivation factors.Global academic self-determination positively predicted satisfaction with studies and vitality. It also neg-atively predicted dropout intentions and ill-being. Specific motivation types additionally predicted out-comes over and above the global factor.


Institute for Positive Psychology and Education

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Journal Article

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