Motivation and Emotion

, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 81–89 | Cite as

Actual environments do affect motivation and psychological adjustment: A test of self-determination theory in a natural setting

Original Paper

Abstract

This study examined the impact of the actual environment on changes in psychological adjustment over time. According to Self-Determination Theory (SDT; Deci and Ryan, Intrinsic motivation and self-determination in human behavior, 1985a, Plenum, New York; J Res Pers 19:109–134, 1985b; Psychol Inq 11:227–268, 2000), environments that are objectively supportive of autonomy should facilitate psychological adjustment through their impact on people’s subjective perceptions of autonomy and self-determined motivation. The present study tested this hypothesis using a prospective design with nursing homes residents. Results from structural equation modeling showed that actual autonomy-supportive nursing home environments were positively associated with residents’ perceptions of autonomy that in turn predicted self-determined motivation in major life domains. Self-determined motivation, in turn, predicted increases in psychological adjustment over a one-year period. Theoretical implications of the present findings are discussed in line with SDT.

Keywords

Self-determination theory Autonomy support Psychological adjustment 

References

  1. Asher, H. B. (1976). Causal modeling. New York: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  2. Baard, P. P., Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2004). Intrinsic need satisfaction: A motivational basis of performance and well-being in two work settings. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 34, 2045–2068.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baron, R. M., & Kenny, D. A. (1986). The moderator–mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: Conceptual, strategic, and statistical considerations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51, 1173–1182.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Beck, A. T., Ward, C. H., Mendelson, M., Mock, J., & Erbaugh, J. (1961). An inventory for measuring depression. Archives of General Psychiatry, 12, 57–62.Google Scholar
  5. Blais, M. R., Sabourin, S., Boucher, C., & Vallerand, R. J. (1990). Toward a motivational model of couple happiness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 59, 1021–1031.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Deci, E. L. (1980). The psychology of self-determination. Lexington, MA: D. C. Heath (Lexington Books).Google Scholar
  7. Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1985a). Intrinsic motivation and self-determination in human behavior. New York: Plenum.Google Scholar
  8. Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1985b). The general causality orientations scale: Self-determination in personality. Journal of Research in Personality, 19, 109–134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1987). The support of autonomy and the control of behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 53, 1024–1037.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2000). The “what” and the “why” of goal pursuits: Human needs and the self-determination of behavior. Psychological Inquiry, 11, 227–268.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (Eds.). (2002). Handbook of self-determination research. Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press.Google Scholar
  12. Deci, E. L., Ryan, R. M., Gagné, M., Leone, D. R., Usunov, J., & Kornazheva, B. P. (2001). Need satisfaction, motivation, and well-being in the work organizations of a former Eastern bloc country. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 27, 930–942.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Diener, E., Emmons, R. A., Larsen, R. J., & Griffin, S. (1985). The Satisfaction With Life Scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49, 71–76.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gottfried, A. E. (1985). Academic intrinsic motivation in elementary and junior high school students. Journal of Educational Psychology, 77, 257–274.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Grolnick, W. S., & Ryan, R. M. (1987). Autonomy in children’s learning: An experimental and individual difference investigation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 52, 890–898.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Grolnick, W. S., & Ryan, R. M. (1989). Parent style associated with children’s self-regulation and competence in school. Journal of Educational Psychology, 81, 143–154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Grolnick, W. S., Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (1991). The inner resources for school performance: Motivational mediators of children’s perceptions of their parents. Journal of Educational Psychology, 83, 508–517.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Grouzet, F. M. E., Vallerand, R. J., Thill, E. E., & Provencher, P. J. (2004). From environmental factors to outcomes: A test of motivational causal sequence. Motivation and Emotion, 28, 331–346.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hershberger, S. L. (2006). The problem of equivalent structural models. In G. R. Hancock & R. O. Mueller (Eds.), Structural equation modeling: A second course (pp. 13–42). Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing.Google Scholar
  20. Hox, J. J. (2002). Multilevel analysis. Techniques and applications. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  21. Hox, J. J., & Maas, C. J. M. (2001). The accuracy of multilevel structural equation modeling with pseudobalanced groups and small samples. Structural Equation Modeling, 8, 157–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Jopp, D., & Rott, C. (2006). Adaptation in very old age: Exploring the role of resources, beliefs, and attitudes for centenarians’ happiness. Psychology and Aging, 21, 266–280.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Jöreskog, K. G., & Sörbom, D. (2003). LISREL 8.54 for Windows (Computer software). Lincolnwood, IL: Scientific Software International.Google Scholar
  24. Kline, R. B. (2005). Principles and practice of structural equation modeling (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  25. Koestner, R., & Losier, G. F. (1996). Distinguishing reactive versus reflective autonomy. Journal of Personality, 64, 465–494.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Koestner, R., & Losier, G. F. (2002). Distinguishing three ways of being highly motivated: A closer look at introjection, identification, and intrinsic motivation. In E. L. Deci & R. M. Ryan (Eds.), Handbook of self-determination research (pp. 101–121). Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press.Google Scholar
  27. Koestner, R., Ryan, R. M., Bernieri, F., & Holt, K. (1984) Setting limits on children’s behavior: The differential effects of controlling vs. informational styles on intrinsic motivation and creativity. Journal of Personality, 52, 233–248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. MacKinnon, D. P., Lockwood, C. M., Hoffman, J. M., West, S. G., & Sheets, V. (2002). A comparison of methods to test mediation and other intervening variable effects. Psychological Methods, 7, 83–104.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Niemiec, C. P., Lynch, M. F., Vansteenkiste, M., Bernstein, J., Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2006). The antecedents and consequences of autonomous self-regulation for college: A self-determination theory perspective on socialization. Journal of Adolescence, 29, 761–775.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. O’Connor, B. P., & Vallerand, R. J. (1994). Motivation, self-determination, and person-environment fit as predictors of psychological adjustment among nursing home residents. Psychology and Aging, 9, 189–194.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. O’Connor, B. P., & Vallerand, R. J. (1998). Psychological adjustment variables as predictors of mortality among nursing home residents. Psychology and Aging, 13, 368–374.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Pelletier, G. L., Fortier, M. S., Vallerand, R. J., & Brière, N. M. (2001). Associations between perceived autonomy support, forms of self regulation, and persistence: a prospective study. Motivation and Emotion, 25, 279–306.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Ratelle, C. F., Vallerand, R. J., Chantal, Y., & Provencher, P. J. (2004). Cognitive adaptation and mental health: A motivational analysis. European Journal of Social Psychology, 34, 459–476.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Ratelle, C. F., Vallerand, R. J., Senecal, C., & Provencher, P. J. (2005). The relationship between school-leisure conflict and educational and mental health indexes: A motivational analysis. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 35, 1800–1823.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Reid, D. W., Haas, G., & Hawkings, D. (1977). Locus of desired control and positve self-concept of the elderly. Journal of Gerontology, 32, 441–450.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Reis, H. T., Sheldon, K. M., Gable, S. L., Roscoe, J., & Ryan, R. M. (2000). Daily well-being: The role of autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 26, 419–435.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Reker, G. T., Peacock, E. J., & Wong, P. T. (1987). Meaning and purpose in life and well-being: A life-span perspective. Journal of Gerontology, 42, 44–49.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Richard, J. F., & Schneider, B. H. (2005). Assessing friendship motivation during preadolescence and early adolescence. The Journal of Early Adolescence, 25, 367–385.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Rosenberg, M. (1965). Society and the adolescent self-image. Princeton, NH: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  40. Ryan, R. M. (1995). Psychological needs and the facilitation of integrative processes. Journal of Personality, 63, 397–427.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Ryan, R. M., & Connell, J. P. (1989). Perceived locus of causality and internalization: Examining reasons for acting in two domains. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57, 749–761.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Ryan, R. M., Deci, E. L., & Grolnick, W. S. (1995). Autonomy, relatedness, and the self: Their relation to development and psychopathology. In D. Cicchetti & D. J. Cohen (Eds.), Developmental psychopathology: Theory and methods (Vol. 1, pp. 618–655). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  43. Sheldon, K. M., & Kasser, T. (1998). Pursuing personal goals: Skills enable progress but not all progress is beneficial. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 24, 1319–1331.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Shrout, P. E., & Bolger, N. (2002). Mediation in experimental and nonexperimental studies: New procedures and recommendations. Psychological Methods, 7, 422–445.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Stapleton, L. M. (2006). Using multilevel structural equation modeling techniques with complex sample data. In G. R. Hancock & R. Mueller (Eds.), A second course in structural equation modeling (pp. 415–445). Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing.Google Scholar
  46. Taylor, A. B., MacKinnon, D. P., & Tein, J. Y. (2008). Tests of the three-path mediated effect. Organization Research Methods, 11, 241–266.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Vallerand, R. J. (1997). Toward a hierarchical model of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. In M. P. Zanna (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (pp. 271–360). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  48. Vallerand, R. J., & Bissonnette, R. (1992). Intrinsic, extrinsic, and amotivational styles as predictors of behavior: A prospective study. Journal of Personality, 60, 599–620.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Vallerand, R. J., Fortier, M. S., & Guay, F. (1997). Self-determination and persistence in a real-life setting: Toward a motivational model of high school dropout. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 72, 1161–1176.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Vallerand, R. J., & O’Connor, B. P. (1989). Motivation in the elderly: A theoretical framework and some promising findings. Canadian Psychology, 30, 538–550.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Vallerand, R. J., & O’Connor, B. P. (1991). Construction et validation de l’Échelle de Motivation pour les Personnes Agées (EMPA) [Construction and validation of the Elderly Motivation Scale (EMS)]. International Journal of Psychology, 26, 219–240.Google Scholar
  52. Vallerand, R. J., O’Connor, B. P., & Hamel, M. (1995). Motivation in later life: Theory and assessment. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 41, 221–238.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. Vallerand, R. J., & Ratelle, C. F. (2002). Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation: A hierarchical model. In E. L. Deci & R. M. Ryan (Eds.), Handbook of self-determination research (pp. 37–63). Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press.Google Scholar
  54. Wolk, S., & Telleen, S. (1976). Psychological and social correlates of residential constraint. Journal of Gerontology, 31, 89–98.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  55. Zuckerman, M., Porac, J., Lathin, D., Smith, R., & Deci, E. L. (1978). On the importance of self-determination for intrinsically motivated behavior. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 4, 443–446.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire de Recherche sur le Comportement Social, Département de PsychologieUniversité du Québec à MontréalMontrealCanada

Personalised recommendations