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Session Overview
SYM-03: New Insights in the Effects and Universality of Basic Psychological Need Satisfaction
Time: Tuesday, 28/Aug/2012: 9:00am - 10:30am
Session Chair: Maarten Vansteenkiste, University of Gent
Discussant: Avi Assor, Ben Gurion University
Organizer: Maarten Vansteenkiste, University of Gent
Location: 311

Session Abstract

Within Basic Psychological Need Theory, one of the five mini-theories of Self-Determination Theory (Deci & Ryan, 2000; Vansteenkiste, Niemiec, & Soenens, 2010), it is maintained that the satisfaction of the basic psychological needs for autonomy (i.e., experiencing a sense of volition and psychological freedom), competence (i.e., feeling effective in interacting with the environment) and relatedness (i.e., experiencing a sense of warmth) is essential for growth, wellness and integrity. Although the concept of psychological needs has received increasing empirical attention over the past decade, many issues remain to be addressed. The present symposium aims to (a) present new insights regarding the day-to-day relation between psychological need satisfaction and the satisfaction the need for physical rest, as indexed by the quantity and quality of the sleeping pattern, in two samples of Belgian adolescents and adults, (b) to present evidence for the longitudinal association between psychological need satisfaction and two understudied well-being outcomes (flourishing, gratitude) in a sample of Peruvian bankers, and (c) to introduce a newly developed and cross-culturally valid psychological need satisfaction scale, which was examined in four countries across the globe (i.e., Belgium, China, Peru, & US). The latter presentation also examines the role of psychological need satisfaction in the relation between health and financial satisfaction and psychological well-being. The implications of the current findings for the further development of Basic Psychological Need Theory will be discussed.


How Tired Are You? Examining the Link Between Daily Psychological Need Satisfaction and Daily Sleeping Pattern

Maarten Vansteenkiste1, Athanasios Mouratidis2

1University of Gent, Belgium; 2University Leuven

Within Self-Determination Theory (SDT; Deci & Ryan, 2008; Vansteenkiste, Soenens, & Niemiec, 2010), it is maintained that the satisfaction of the basic psychological needs for autonomy (i.e., experiencing a sense of volition), competence (i.e., experiencing a sense of effectiveness), and relatedness (i.e., experiencing a sense of connection) represent the necessary nutriments for people’s well-being. In this study, we employed a diary methodology to examine the association between day-to-day fluctuation in psychological need satisfaction and frustration and daily sleep patterns. Adult participants (N = 73, 28.8% males; Mean age = 43.08 SD = 11.52) as well as adolescent participants (N = 275, 49.8% males; Mean age = 16.51 SD = 1.18) kept a sleep diary (Monk et al., 1994) reporting on their daily fatigue and need satisfaction at night and sleep quality (e.g., alertness) in the morning during 14 consecutive days. Multilevel analyses using HLM indicated that daily need satisfaction related more strongly to indicators of sleep quality than to indicators of sleep quantity. Specifically, need satisfaction and need frustration contributed, respectively, to (a) daily fatigue, (b) positive and negative reasons for getting awake at night and (c) morning alertness. These results suggest that the satisfaction of one’s psychological needs is implicated in the degree to which one is able to gets one’s physical needs met and indicate that the effects of daily need satisfaction radiate beyond one’s psychological functioning per se.

Basic Need Satisfaction and its Relationship with Flourishing and Gratitude

Lennia Matos1, Maarten Vansteenkiste2, Bart Soenens2, Willy Lens3, Rafael Gargurevich1

1Peruvian University of Applied Sciences, Peru; 2University of Gent; 3University Leuven

Self-Determination theory proposes that the three basic psychological needs (autonomy, competence, and relatedness) are essential for optimal human development and are considered very important nutriments for optimal functioning (Vansteenkiste, Niemic & Soenens, 2010). In the last years, Positive Psychology (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000) emerged as a movement that proposed that instead of focusing in weaknesses and illnesses it is important to put emphasis in studying human strengths and positive outcomes (Deci & Vansteenkiste, 2004). Two of these outcomes refer to flourishing and gratitude. The satisfaction of the basic psychological needs can help to understand how people can have an optimal development and functioning. There is extensive evidence regarding need satisfaction and its impact on psychological well-being. Therefore it seems clear its relationship to outcomes such as flourishing and gratitude. The aim of our research was to examine the relationship between flourishing and gratitude and the satisfaction of the three basic needs. In this study, 450 Peruvian bank workers participated (40.9% males, Mean age=28.16). The measures (Flourishing scale, Gratitude Questionnaire, Basic Need Satisfaction in Life) were valid and reliable in our sample. Hierarchical regressions were performed and as expected, the three basic psychological needs were positive predictors of flourishing and gratitude. In a second set of analyses (longitudinal) we ran a Latent change model and it yielded a satisfactory fit to the data and the changes in need satisfaction were related to changes in both flourishing and gratitude over time.

Presenting a new and cross-culturally valid scale on basic psychological need satisfaction in four countries: Exploring the link with finacial and health satisfaction

Beiwen Chen1, Maarten Vansteenkiste1, Wim Beyers1, Ken Sheldon2, Richard Ryan3, Lennia Matos4, Bart Soenens1

1University of Gent, Belgium; 2University of Missouri--Columbia; 3University of Rochester; 4Peruvian University of Applied Sciences

In the current study, we aim to introduce a new, cross-culturally valid scale on basic psychological need satisfaction and to investigate its relation with health and financial satisfactions and well-being in four culturally diverse countries (i.e., China, Belgium, US, and Peru). More specifically, we pursued the following three aims. Based on the self-determination theory, we first developed and validated a new basic psychological needs scale. We deemed it important to test the measurement equivalence of the newly proposed scale since a cross-culturally validated questionnaire on this issue is currently lacking in the literature. Second, we examined the association between basic psychological needs satisfaction and well-being and examined whether the effect of psychological need satisfaction depends on the satisfaction of the health and financial needs satisfaction (moderation). In an additional set of analyses, we explored whether health and financial satisfaction relate to the desires for psychological need satisfaction, as can be hypothesized based on Maslow’s hierarchical need theory. Third, we investigated to which extent the associations between health and financial satisfaction and well-being can be accounted for by basic psychological need satisfaction (i.e., mediation).

We found the effect of psychological needs is not moderated by health and financial satisfaction, but that psychological need satisfaction partially accounts for the effects of health and financial satisfaction on well-being. In addition, we found individuals with lower health and financial situation have stronger desire for autonomy, relatedness and competence satisfaction. Implications of these results are discussed.

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