Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Predictors of employment in schizophrenia: The importance of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation

This seems interesting given the potentially positive impact on people’s feelings of self worth when they are working. But - I’m not sure what the action that might come from this type of research. Perhaps if you increase the external motivation (eg. added rewards to a person with schizophrenia if they at least get a volunteer job to get the out of the house and active socially) it might help compensate for reduced intrinsic motivation. Anybody else have thoughts on this?

Unemployment is a primary functional deficit for the majority of adults with schizophrenia. Research indicates that over two-thirds of adults living in the community with schizophrenia are unemployed.

Despite effective programs to assist with job identification and placement, the ability to attain and maintain employment remains a pressing concern. A contributing factor that may be relevant but has received little attention in the work rehabilitation literature is motivation.

People with schizophrenia show marked deficits in both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation but these deficits have not been directly examined in relation to work outcomes


These findings highlight the importance of considering both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in work-related interventions and supported employment for individuals with schizophrenia. The results are discussed in terms of clinical implications for improving rehabilitation and occupational outcomes in schizophrenia.


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Perhaps this video can help us understand and solve the issue of motivation in this situation: Your thoughts?

Very interesting TED talk. I think my son has some intrinsic motivation left…I think I will need to discuss what motivates him vs. what I think he should be doing (getting some sort of job or volunteer job or going to school). So far he is not interested in what I want him to do. But he has gravitated to helping others thru the NA program. So that in itself has some value - gets him out of the house and socializing with others. It does not pay the bills - but it makes him happy and at this point that is very valuable. It gives him purpose and meaning and makes his life valuable to himself and apparently to others. Many have shared with me the impact he has made on them. I am proud of him for this.

Good info to think about. Thanks for sharing!