A test of basic psychological needs theory in a physical-activity-based program for Underserved Youth

Lindley McDavid, Meghan H. McDonough, Bonnie T. Blankenship, James M. LeBreton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study used a randomized controlled design to test the pathways in basic psychological needs theory, where social relationships characterized by autonomy support, involvement, and structure foster psychological need satisfaction and well-being. Participants were recruited from a physical-activity-based youth program. A new stafftraining was implemented to manipulate the use of each interpersonal characteristic by program staff(N = 24 observed) and perceptions of each interpersonal characteristic, psychological needs, hope, and self-worth in youth (N = 379 surveyed pre- and postprogram). Staffin the intervention condition used greater overall observed autonomy support, involvement, and structure. Condition assignment did not lead to differences in youth perceptions, but observed staffbehaviors positively predicted youth perceptions of staffand perceptions of staffpositively predicted change in well-being. Findings indicate that the training manipulated how staffengaged youth, and autonomy support, involvement, and structure are useful strategies to foster well-being in youth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-42
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Volume39
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology

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