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Motivation and Emotion

, Volume 43, Issue 6, pp 857–873 | Cite as

Do extrinsic goals affect romantic relationships? The role of basic psychological need satisfaction

  • Angel Nga Man Leung
  • Wilbert LawEmail author
Original Paper
  • 127 Downloads

Abstract

Two studies were conducted to examine how individuals’ intrinsic and extrinsic goals were related to their relationship well-being as mediated by basic psychological need satisfaction. In Study 1, a survey was administered to 96 participants who were in romantic relationships. The results showed that individuals’ perceptions of their partners’ extrinsic and intrinsic goals were associated with their relationship satisfaction in opposite directions, and that these relations were mediated by their basic psychological need satisfaction. Using the Actor–Partner Interdependence Model, Study 2 investigated how basic psychological need satisfaction mediated the association between extrinsic and intrinsic goals and relationship well-being among 104 dyads who were in romantic relationships. The results suggested that the dyads’ intrinsic goals were positively associated with basic need satisfaction while their extrinsic goals showed the reverse relation, and that basic psychological need satisfaction mediated the relations between extrinsic and intrinsic goals and relationship well-being. The negative association between extrinsic goal pursuits and relationship well-being was the same regardless of the individuals’ or their partners’ level of extrinsic goals.

Keywords

Self-determination theory Intrinsic goals Extrinsic goals Basic need satisfaction Relationship well-being 

Notes

Funding

There was no funding for this study.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethics approval

Ethics approval was obtained from the ethics committee of The University of Rochester and University of Hamburg.

Informed consent

were distributed to participants prior to their participation.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology and Centre for Psychosocial HealthThe Education University of Hong KongTai PoHong Kong, China
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyThe Education University of Hong KongTai PoHong Kong, China

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