C. Costa-Lobo1, P. Silva1, A. Ribeiro2, S. Silva2

1Universidade Portucalense Infante D. Henrique & Portucalense Institute of Neuropsychology and Cognitive and Behavioral Neurosciences (PORTUGAL)
2Universidade Portucalense Infante D. Henrique (PORTUGAL)
It has been verified that in academic context, the motivation is determinant of the quality of learning and the performance of students. Social support is now seen as a multidimensional concept, and refers to the material and psychological resources to which people have access through their social networks (Vaz, 2010).

This study aims to evaluate social support effect on the academic motivation of students attending higher education. The Multidimensional Perceived Social Support Scale, portuguese version (MSPSS; Carvalho, Pinto, Pimentel, Maia, & Mota-Pereira, 2011) and the Motivation Scale for Learning-University Students (EMA-U; Boruchovitch & Neves, 2005) were used, Instruments that were administered to 154 students of portuguese higher education.

Regarding the Motivation Scale for Learning-University Students, the factor analysis allowed the observation of the existence of two factors, the intrinsic motivation and the extrinsic motivation.

The training area assumed itself as a statistically significant predictor of extrinsic motivation. Regarding the intrinsic motivation, we did not observe statistically significant results in the variables present in the study.

Regarding social support, is verified, through the factorial analysis, the existence of three factors: Family Social Support; Social Support of Friends, and, Social Support of other significant ones.

There is a tendency for high social support results and a concordance between this study and the studied literature regarding factor scores and reliability analysis. Social support in motivation to learn does not behave as a predictor of motivation, both intrinsic and extrinsic, and there is no statistically significant correlation between the two. The results show that social support does not have a significant impact on academic motivation, opposing most of the existing literature. The results found partially contradict the literature because they point to the fact that being a university student of a public or private institution, as well as the area of ​​training, regardless of the education cycle, are not associated to the social support of family, friends and significant others.

The limitations and implications of this study are flagged and discussed.