Demographic variables, Achievement Goal Orientations, Prisoners


Educating Prisoners has become a worldwide concern as a measure that can save community costs associated with criminal behavior. In Uganda, there is low participation in formal and vocational training among prisoners which can be associated with lack of knowledge on achievement goal orientations. This is central for adequate implementation of academic and vocational education in prisons, otherwise it may lead to wasted Government initiative and commitment on education as a rehabilitation strategy for prisoners. The purpose of the study was to assess demographic variations in achievement goal orientations among prisoners on formal and vocational training in Uganda.

This study adopted across sectional survey design with a mixed methods approach. The population was adult male and female prisoners enrolled on both formal and vocational training in Luzira prison using census sampling strategy. Measures used included the bio data section and the Patterns of Adaptive Learning Survey. Permission was sought from all relevant authorities and data analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Scientists (SPSS) version 20.

The study found out that there is no statistically significant relationship between mastery goals and demographic information; and between performance approach goals and demographic information reflected in the P values. However, there is a statistically significant relationship between performance avoidance goals and gender (P=.013). There is no statistically significant relationship between Approach avoidance goals and other demographic variables as reflected in their P values.

The findings of this study may be used by prison education instructors, administrators and curriculum planners in bridging the gap between demographic variations and achievement goal orientations. This study posit to the importance of understanding prisoners goal orientations and how these goals influence their learning and academic outcomes. It is generally acknowledged that setting achievement goal orientations may be integrated into instructional materials to promote better academic achievement. Prisoners participating in academic and vocational education should be encouraged to adopt achievement goals according to the broader social and psychological horizon which shall help to direct their attention towards activities that will help them energies performance there by motivating prisoners expend greater effort in line with difficulties of achieving goals, spend more time and persist longer working on tasks to improve the overall performance

Author Bio

Irene Aheisibwe is a senior lecturer in the Department of Foundations of Education at Bishop Stuart University.

Aloysius Rukundo is a senior lecturer in the Department of Foundations of Education and Psychology at Mbarara University of Science and Technology.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Agolla, J.E & Ongoria, H. (2009). An Assessment of Academic Stress among Undergraduate Students: The Case of University of Botswana. Educational Research and Review.4 (2):63-70
American Correctional Association (1997). Education Opportunities in Correctional Settings. Corrections Compendium 22(9):4-16
Ames, C. (1992). Classroom Goals Structures and Student Motivation. Journal of Educational Psychology, 84,261-271
Anderson, K., & Ovaery, K (2010). Engaging Scottish Young Offenders in Education through Music and Art. International Journal of Community Music.3 (1).
Artinson,P., Coffey,A.,& Delamont,S(2003). Key Themes in Qualitative Research: Continuities and Changes. Walnut Creek,Ca:Alta Mira
Australian National Training Authority (2011). National Strategy for Vocational Education and Training for Adult Prisoners and Offenders in Australia. Brisbane
Babbie, E. (2007). The Practice of Social Research. 11th Ed.Belmont CA: Wadsworth/Thomas.
Batiuk,M.E., & Moke, P. (1996). Education in Ohio Prisons: An Analysis of Recidivism Rates. Ohio Penal Education Consortium and the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. Wilmington. OH: Wilmington College.
Bodmann,S., Hulleman,C.S & Harackiewicz, J.(2008). Achievement Goal System: An Application of Goal Systems Theory to Achievement Goal Research. International Review of Social Psychology 80:282-305
Bouffard, J.A., & Bergeron,L.E.(2006). Reentry Works: The Implementation and Effectiveness of a Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 44, 1-29
Brdar, I., Rijavec, M., & Loncaric, D (2006). Goal Orientations, Coping with School Failure and School Achievements. European journal of psychology of education,21,53-70
Case, P., Fasenfest, D., Sarri, R., & Philips. (2005). Providing Educational Support for Female Ex- Inmates: Project Prove as a Model for Social Reintegration. Journal of Correctional Education, 56,146-157
Copnhaver, A., Edwards-Willy, T.L., &Byers, B.D. (2007). Journeys in Social Stigma. The Lives of Formerly Incarcerated Felons in Higher Education. Journal of Correctional Education, 58,268-283.
Creswell, J. W (2008). Educational Research: Planning, Conducting and Evaluating Quantitative and Qualitative Research.3rd Ed.Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill
Creswell, J.W., & Plano.C.V.L (2007). Designing and Conducting Mixed Methods Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Darnon, C., Butera,F., & Harackiewiez,J.M (2007).Achievement Goals In Social Interactions: Learning with in a Mastery Vs Performance Goals. Motivation and Emotion, 31,61 70
Eliot, A. J & Church, M.A. (1997). A Hierarchical Model of Approach and Avoidance Achievement Motivation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.72, 218-232
Engel, L., Holford, J. & Mleczko, A. (2010). Access of Adults to Formal and Non Formal Adult Education. Country Report: England: University of Nottingham, UK.
European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. http://convetions.coe.int/Treaty/EN/Treaties/html/005.htm
Fullan. M., & Langworthy, M. (2013). Towards A New End: New Pedagogies for Deep Learning. Collaborative Impact.www.Newpedagogies. Org
Gehring,T.(1995). Characteristics of Correctional Instruction.1789-1875. Journal of Formal education, 46, 50-59
Guba, E.G., & Lincoln, Y.S. (2005). Paradigmatic Controversies, Contradictions and Emerging Confluences. The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research 3rd ED., Thousand Oaks.CA; Sage.
Harackiewicz, J. M., Durik, A. M., Barron, KeLinnenbrink-Garcia, L., &Tauer, J.M. (2008). The Role of Achievement Goals in the Development of Interest: Reciprocal Relations between Achievement Goals, Inters and Performance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.72, 218-232
Jensen, E.L., &Reed, G.E. (2006). Adult Formal and vocational training Programs: An Update of Formal Educational Programme Completers Released in 1990-1991. Journal of Formal education, 46, 20-24
Johnson, R. (2002). Hard Time: Understanding and Reforming the Prison. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth /Thompson.
Johnson, R.B., Onwuegbuzie.A.J., & Turner, L.A. (2007). Towards a Definition of Mixed Methods Research. Journal of Mixed Methods, 1(2).112-133.
Marshall, C., & Rossman, G.B. (2006). Designing Qualitative Research. 4th Ed Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Meece,J.L., Anderman, E.M., & Anderman,L.H.(2006). Classroom Goal Structures, Student Motivation and Academic Achievement. Annual Review of Psychology, 57.287-503
Morse, J.M(1994). Designing Qualitative Research. Handbook of Qualitative Enquiry. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage
Neuman,W.I., (2000). Social Research Methods and Quantitative Approaches. Boston: Allyn&Bacon
Pastor, D. A., Barron, K.E., Miller B.J & Davis, S.L. (2007). A Latent Profile Analysis of College Students Achievement Goal Orientations. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 32,8-47
Pintrich, P.R (2005). The Role of Goal Orientations in Self-Regulated Learning. Handbook of Self- Regulation Learning, 451-502
Roebken, H. (2007). The Influence of Goal Orientations on Students Satisfaction, Academic Engagement and Achievement. Journal of Research in Educational Psychology. (3 704
Sideridis, G. D. (2006). Achievement Goal Orientations, Ought’s and Self-Regulation in Students with and without Learning Disabilities. Learning Disability Quarterly, 29,3-18
Sideridis, G. D., & Kaplan, A. (2011). Achievement Goals and Persistence across Tasks: The Roles of Failure and Success. The Journal of Experimental Education, 79(429-51).
Sowislow, J.F., & Orth. (2012). Does Low Self Esteem Predict Depression and Anxiety? A Meta-Analysis of Longitudinal Studies. Psychological Bulletin. Advanced Online Publication.Doi:10.1037/a0028-931
Tashakkori, A., & Creswell, J.W. (2009). Exploring the Nature of Research Questions in Mixed Methods Research. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 3, 207-211
The Canadian Government Productivity Commission 2004
The Uganda Prison Service Act in 2006
The Uganda Prison Service Commission Annual Report 2012
Ubah,C.B.A & Robinson.l(2003). A ground look at the debate over prison based education: optimistic theory versus pessimistic world view: The Prison Journal 83:115-129
Ubah,C.B.A(2002). A Critical Examination of Empirical Studies of Offender Rehabilitation – Formal Education: Lessons for the 21st Century. Journal of Formal and Vocational Training 53:13-19
Ward,T., & Fortune,C.,A (2013). The Good Lives Model: Aligning Risk Reduction with Promoting Offenders Personal Goals. European Journal of Probation,5(2).29-46
Young, D.S., & Mattucci, R.F. (2006). Enhancing the Vocational Skills of Incarcerated Women through a Plumbing Maintenance Programme. Journal of Formal Education, 57,126- 140