Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Jennifer Ma

Reader 2

Judith LeMaster

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Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2016 Jenny S. Han


Self-determination Theory postulates that there are innate psychological needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness, and that satisfaction of these needs fosters the development of autonomous motivation. Research suggests that autonomous forms of motivation are important for behavior change and maintenance. With increasing research on Self-determination Theory and its possible applications, there is a demand for research that develops and tests behavioral interventions. This study seeks to apply Self-determination Theory to a prenatal care intervention for low-income pregnant women in the Los Angeles area.

The Self-determination Theory based and the non-Self-determination Theory based prenatal care interventions will be compared. Perceived autonomy, competence, relatedness, and autonomous motivation will be measured as well as health care behaviors (healthy behavior habits, prenatal care return rates, and adherence to doctor’s regimen). Perceived autonomy competence, relatedness, autonomous motivation, and healthy behavior will be measured before and after the intervention. Return rate and adherence to doctor’s regimen will be measured post-intervention. The Self-determination Theory based intervention group is expected to report higher levels of autonomous motivation, perceived autonomy, competence, relatedness, and healthy behavior, higher return rates, and better adherence to doctor’s orders than the control group. The findings may help shape prenatal care interventions for low-income pregnant women resulting in healthier pregnancies and reduced risk factors for infant disease and mortality.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.