Characteristics of disabled person`s achievement motivation

Valeriy Sergeevich Agapov, Natalia Nikolaevna Shentseva, Aleksandra Yurievna Davydova


Agapov V.S., Davydova A.Yu., Shentseva N.N. Characteristics of disabled person`s achievement motivation // Psychological science and practice: State of the Art. Collected papers / Ed. Kostrigin A.A. Chicago, 2017. P. 72-78.

Empirical research was carried out in the "Center for Medical and Social Rehabilitation of the Disabled" of the Department of Social Protection of the Population of Moscow. The presence of a disability in the period of formation of the motivation of achievement (from 3 to 14 years) made it possible to identify its specificity in people with disabilities since childhood (as a developmental feature) and people with acquired disabilities (as a need for resocialization) (Shentseva, 2013).

It is established that in people with developmental peculiarities the motivation of achievement is characterized by:

  • high level of motivation to avoid failure, which is expressed in a strong desire for protective behavior (fear of failure);
  • conflict correlation of strong opposing motivational aspirations to success and avoidance (in men), which leads to frustration of the need to achieve because of high protection (strong desire for goals and fear of failure);
  • polarization of motivation to avoid ‑ extremely high or extremely low protection (in women), which leads to inadequate choice of complexity (too difficult or, on the contrary, ultralight tasks) (Agapov, 2015).

Too high level of motivation to achieve with a conflict of opposite motives shows the distortion of its formation and is manifested in the non-adaptive strategy of "all or nothing" behavior. Such a strategy makes it impossible to review the goals and means of achieving them in a rapidly changing environment. Not all environmental factors are under the control of a person and any accident can lead to failure or even a psychological catastrophe (Shentseva, 2006).

In people with the need for resocialization due to acquired disability, the motivation for achieving is more adequately formed and characterized by a medium strength and balanced combination of motives (success and avoidance of failure): the predominance of the motive for success over the avoidance motive (in men) and moderate protection, allowing flexible choice of goals (in women); lower level of aspiration for protection in general (Agapov, 2015). The average level of motivation to achieve success provides more flexible behavioral strategies (Shentseva, 2006).

Investigation of the interrelationships between the motives for achieving socio-psychological determinants in the system (self-image in interpersonal relations, basic beliefs in security, the ratio of value and accessibility, the level of optimism, coping behavior) revealed the specifics caused by the presence of disability in the period of formation of the motivation to achieve (Agapov, Davidova, Shentseva, 2015).

The revealed features allow to focus efforts to optimize the motivation of reaching people with disabilities.

Two programs are proposed for the development of the motivation of achievement: 1) reducing the conflict of opposing and strong aspirations (to success and avoidance); teaching tactics of goal-setting and proactive behavior; optimization of interpersonal support of the behavior of achievement in the family for people with disabilities as a feature of development; 2) development of the "achievement syndrome" (strengthening the motivation for success) and reducing the fear of failure and anxiety, increasing self-esteem ‑ for people with disabilities due to trauma.

Thus, when working with people with acquired health limatations, the program is more focused on the emotional-cognitive block of achievement motivation, namely, the reduction (or elimination) of the influence of past experience, which led to tragic consequences. With regard to the achievement motivation, the emphasis is rather on actualizing the motivation for success, rather than on the formation and development of adaptive, optimal motivation, as in the case of people with different origins of health limitations ("from childhood") (Agapov, 2015; Davidova, 2015).

Полный текст:



Agapov V.S., Davidova A.Y.,Shentseva N.N. Social-psychological determinants of achievement motivation of people with disabilities/ Pod red. Prof. Volovets S. A. Sergiev Posad, 2015. 240 s.

Davidova A.Y.,Shentseva N.N.,Agapov V.S. Correlation between the achievement motivation and the basic personal beliefs of people with disability// Akmeology. 2015. №2. S.98-105

Shentseva N.N., Davydova A.Yu. Descriptive model of social-psychological rehabilitation of the group «young invalids»// Science dialogue. 2013. № 4 (16). S.85-97

Shentseva N.N. Social-psychological features of achievement motivation of College students. Sergiev Posad: SPGI, 2006. 110 s.


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(c) 2017 Valeriy Sergeevich Agapov, Natalia Nikolaevna Shentseva, Aleksandra Yurievna Davydova