Caribbean Journal of Psychology: Vol. 11, Issue 1, 2019

Article 3
Mindset and Basic Psychological Need Satisfaction among Secondary School Students in Curaçao

Pieternel Dijkstra
Institute for Social Psychology: Research, Education and Coaching,
The Netherlands

Odette Van Brummen-Girigori
University of Curaçao, Willemstad

Moises Da Costa Gomez
Curaçao Foundation Fair Educational Chance, Curaçao

Dick P.H. Barelds
University of Groningen, Groningen


The present study examined the presence of two prerequisites for intrinsic academic motivation among secondary school students in Curaçao: the degree to which students show a growth mindset and the degree to which students’ needs for competence, autonomy and relatedness are fulfilled at school. A total of 177 males and 272 females, enrolled in VSBO (theoretical and advanced vocational track) and HAVO/VWO schools (higher general secondary education/pre-university education), filled out a paper and pencil questionnaire in Papiamento. Results showed that both a growth and a fixed mindset were present among both students from VSBO and HAVO/VWO schools. Students’ needs were met to some degree, with relatively low levels of fulfillment of the need for Autonomy. Students’ mindset (both growth and fixed) and degree of need fulfillment were weakly correlated, suggesting that growth mindset and need fulfillment pose two relatively independent routes to intrinsic academic motivation. Practical implications of the results are discussed.