School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD)


Sarah J. Spiridigliozzi


Gen Z, centrality of religiosity, motivational needs


Psychology | Religion


Past research has focused exhaustively on the motivational needs of older generational cohorts, while Gen Z receives minimal attention. Simultaneously, no research exists examining Gen Z’s centrality of religiosity or how their religiousness might affect motivational needs. This focus by research is crucial because the global number of Gen Z individuals now eclipses the current population of Baby Boomers and Gen X (Ajzen, 2020). This gap in motivational and religious centrality research is arguably due to many studies downplaying Gen Z’s motivational needs with claims that their motivations, centrality of religiosity, and behavioral choices are like that of Gen X and Millennials (Ajzen, 2020). Some research states that older generations’ behavior is primarily motivated by their religiousness, yet many Gen Z individuals report being religiously unaffiliated (Ajzen, 2020). This quantitative correlational study had two objectives; (1) measure Gen Z’s centrality of religiosity, and (2) predict Gen Z’s motivational needs based on their centrality of religiosity scores. The current study used two questionnaires to measure Gen Z’s centrality of religiosity (the Centrality of Religiosity Scale) and motivational needs (a Needs Assessment Questionnaire). Data results of this study revealed that Gen Z’s centrality of religiosity, overall, could not predict their motivational needs. Centrality of religiosity only held a significant statistical relationship with the motivational need for affiliation. Data also showed the Gen Z has high motivational needs for autonomy, affiliation, and competency. The primary implication from the current study includes Gen Z’s need for highly autonomous, collaborative, and supportive environments.