Publication Date



Open access

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Educational and Psychological Studies (Education)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Blaine Fowers - Committee Chair

Second Committee Member

Ray Winters - Committee Member

Third Committee Member

Kent Burnett - Committee Member

Fourth Committee Member

Margaret Crosbie-Burnett - Committee Member


Self-Determination Theory (SDT) research on goal pursuit indicates that people with intrinsic goal pursuits experience greater well-being than those with extrinsic goal pursuits. Three nutriments have been suggested by SDT that facilitate intrinsic motivation: autonomy, competence and relatedness. These nutriments, considered social conditions by SDT, have been understudied. However, recent SDT research and the small literature on goal support in relationships suggest that social aspects of goal pursuit are quite relevant and warrant further investigation. This study examined interpersonal dimensions of goal pursuit including Goal Support, Shared Goals, Communal Strength and Generativity. This interpersonal cluster was examined in the context of "active involvement with others" in order to enrich our understanding of the link between goal pursuit and psychological well-being. This study was the first to explore these interpersonal dimensions of goal pursuit and well-being in the context of SDT. Correlations explored the relationships among the interpersonal dimensions and regression analyses were used to explore moderating effects the interpersonal dimensions had on the relationship between self-concordant (intrinsic/extrinsic) goal pursuit and well-being. Shared goal orientation was the only dimension to act as a moderator. Implications include continuing to identify the active role of others in one's goal pursuits and adding further understanding to the relationship between goal pursuit and well-being.


Moderation; Buffer; Simple Slope Analysis