Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 34, Issue 6, pp 589–604

Antecedents and Outcomes of Self-Determination in 3 Life Domains: The Role of Parents' and Teachers' Autonomy Support


    • Department of PsychologyKatholieke Universiteit Leuven
    • Center for Developmental PsychologyKatholieke Universiteit Leuven
    • Department of PsychologyKatholieke Universiteit Leuven
  • Maarten Vansteenkiste
    • Department of PsychologyKatholieke Universiteit Leuven
    • Center for Motivation PsychologyKatholieke Universiteit Leuven

DOI: 10.1007/s10964-005-8948-y

Cite this article as:
Soenens, B. & Vansteenkiste, M. J Youth Adolescence (2005) 34: 589. doi:10.1007/s10964-005-8948-y


Due to conceptualizations of autonomy as detachment and independence, research on the parenting–autonomy relationship in adolescence has yielded inconsistent results. In the present study, self-determination is proposed as an alternative way of tapping into the construct of autonomy. An integrated model of the relationships between perceived parenting and teaching styles, self-determination in 3 life-domains (school, social competence, and job-seeking behaviors), and specific adolescent outcomes, was investigated and confirmed. In 2 samples of mid-adolescents (N = 328 and N = 285), autonomy-supportive parenting was significantly related to self-determination in all life-domains. Autonomy-supportive teaching added significantly to the prediction of self-determination in the domains of school and job-seeking behaviors. Self-determination, in turn, was positively and specifically associated with measures of adjustment in the specific life-domains under investigation. Finally, in both studies, indications were found that self-determination acts as an intervening variable in the relation between the perceived interpersonal environment and adolescent adjustment.

Key Words

parenting styleteaching styleautonomyself-determinationadjustment

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005