Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Soldiers-Psychology, Motivation (Psychology), Military service, Voluntary-Psychological aspects, Recuriting and enlistment-Psychological aspects, Environmental psychology, Military, Ecological theory


The objective of this descriptive study was to identify and describe those motivations for individuals who chose to enter into the military. Motivations are important to understand as they provide insight into the values and needs of individuals. These values and needs impact an individual's Person-In-Environment fit. The study utilized an online survey to which 76 veterans or service members responded. The online survey collected demographic data such as age, gender, race and branch of service. The questionnaire then asked participants to rank a list of enlistment motivations noted in previous studies (Griffith, 2008; Woodruff, Kelty and Segal, 2007)on a scale of 0 (not at all) to 4 (very) in levels of influence. The most influential enlistment motivations reported were educational benefits, patriotism, and the opportunity to travel. Previous literature categorized motivations into two categories: institutional or individual (Griffith, 2008; Woodruff, Kelty and Segal, 2007). However, ecological theory (Brofenbrenner 1994, DeHoyos 1989) implies that motivations are much more complicated than either of those categories suggests, being influenced by the interactions of the developing person and their environment on a large range of ecological levels




iv, 63 p. : col. ill. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, 2013. Includes bibliographical references (p. 51-53)