Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2017

Degree Type


Degree Name



Education Evaluation and Research

First Advisor

Shlomo Sawilowsky


Self-determination is related to the desirable transition outcomes of an individual. It has gained an increasing amount of attention in numerous fields, including education, sociology, psychology, and other fields related to human behavior. However, there are no measures originally written in Arabic that accurately measure an individual’s self-determination. Thus, during this study, an Arabic version of the Self-Determination Assessment – Internet (SDAi) was developed from the regular English version of the assessment. The SDAi measures the cognitive, emotional, and behavioral factors related to self-determination. The purpose of this study was to develop and then test the reliability and validity of an Arabic version of the SDAi. In addition, the use of the Arabic SDAi as an effective tool to assess self-determination among Arabic-speaking students’ parents and teachers was examined. The participants were 336 Saudi students studying at universities in the United States and 53 parents and 60 teachers who resided in the state of Michigan, were Arab American, and could read Arabic. An Arabic version of the SDAi was translated and back-translated by the investigator and associated research team members for the study.

The investigation of the SDAi’s internal consistency and reliability, and exploratory factor analysis (EFA) were the focus of this study. The SDAi had high levels of internal consistency and reliability; and the Cronbach’s alpha was 0.85 for the entire scale of SDSS-SF, and 0.95 for both the SDPPS and SDAPS scales. Principal Component Analysis resulted in the SDSS-SF, a five-factor model explaining 43.632% of the variance, a five-factor model where 67.30% of the variance was explained for the SDPPS scale, and a five-factor model also explained 66.72% of the variance for the SDAP scale. These findings confirm that the SDAi assessment is a valid measure for estimating the degree of self-determination in Saudi students studying in American universities and the degree of self-determination and perceptions of Arab American parents and teachers who live in the state of Michigan.