Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Geoffrey Nelson

Advisor Role

Thesis Committee Member

Second Advisor

Robert Gebotys

Advisor Role

Thesis Committee Member

Third Advisor

Bruce Hunsberger

Advisor Role

Thesis Committee Member


This study was designed to examine the fulfillment of specific needs of the volunteers and clients of a particular Christian organization, Operation Blessing, as these needs related to Maslow’s (1954) hierarchical theory of motivation, Alderfer’s (1972) theory of existence, relatedness and growth, and Bradburn’s (1969) affect balance theory. Sixty-five participants, 44 volunteers and 21 clients, completed a questionnaire including the following scales: Life Change Events, Social Support, and Christian activities and beliefs, and Positive Affect, Negative Affect and Purpose in Life. As predicted, the experience of Life Change Events was directly related to Negative Affect and the receipt of Social Support was directly related to Positive Affect. Furthermore, a positive correlation was found between Christian activities and beliefs and Purpose in Life. No significant interaction between any of the variables was found, thus failing to support either Maslow’s hypothesis of the prepotency of lower-order needs over higher-order needs or the stress-buffering hypothesis. Results also indicated a positive relationship between affect balance (Positive Affect minus Negative Affect) and the Purpose in Life variable. Unfortunately, the meaning of these findings was not clear because of methodological problems and ceiling and floor effects for some variables. An alternative model to Maslow’s hierarchical model was proposed.

Convocation Year