University of Twente Student Theses


The motives of young adults to make use of mental health related apps in their daily lives : a qualitative interview study

Jebbink, M. (2021) The motives of young adults to make use of mental health related apps in their daily lives : a qualitative interview study.

[img] PDF
Abstract:Background. Currently, problems with young adults’ mental health are increasing. In this context, the health care system is strained since there is an increased need for professionals to provide mental health care. Thus, more self-management by young adults is needed to improve their mental health problems themselves. One opportunity to improve self-management in young adults are mental health related applications (apps). These apps are often designed based on experts’ perspective and little is known what makes them attractive to the users. This study used the self-determination theory and the agency model of customization as theoretical frameworks to investigate young adults’ motivations to use mental health related apps in their daily lives. Methods. 7 semi-structured interviews with young adults between the age of 19 to 25 living in Germany, Australia, Argentina and Spain were conducted via an online communication platform. During the interviews the participants’ perceptions of the determinants from the SDT (intrinsic and extrinsic motivations, competence, relatedness and autonomy) and the determinants from the agency model (perceived, involvement, control and identity) were discussed. The interviews were transcribed and analyzed with Atlas.ti using both an inductive and deductive approach. Results. The results showed that participants are motivated by all components from both theories when using the app. However, intrinsic reasons, competence and perceptions of involvement were discussed most. Specifically, control over emotions and the ability to resolve stress were important motivators for the participants. Extrinsic motivations and perceptions of identity have shown to get less attention. All in all, the motives to use these apps are rooted in intrinsic reasons like competence, autonomy and involvement rather than in extrinsic ones. Discussion. Main findings from the results were that some perceptions and conceptualizations differ from the conceptualization the authors have whereas others match these. Literature suggests that autonomy has a major influence on motivation whereas the participants from this study see perceptions of control and competence as most influential. Moreover, relatedness is perceived as self-relatedness. Lastly, identity has shown to be less relevant whereas the authors suggest that it is equally important. Future research should replicate the study with a broader sample, a different population (e.g. older adults) and different apps in order to see whether different perceptions of the theories arise.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
Link to this item:
Export this item as:BibTeX
HTML Citation
Reference Manager


Repository Staff Only: item control page