Autonomy and relatedness are fundamental needs both in adolescence and in emerging adulthood which are affected by parental support and are linked to children’s psychological distress. The study investigated autonomy and relatedness in late adolescents and emerging adults living in Italy, analyzing the relationships with perceived parental support and psychological distress. Self-report data were collected from a sample of 325 Caucasian adolescents and emerging adults (males = 41 %) ranging in age from 17 to 26 years and living in Sicily (southern Italy). Results showed that: (a) both autonomy and relatedness were positively predicted by parental support to these needs, (b) perceived support for autonomy was positively associated with perceived support for relatedness, (c) autonomy and relatedness were positively related to each other for emerging adults, but they were not related for teens, (d) autonomy predicted negatively depression and loneliness, while relatedness predicted negatively externalizing problems (only for adolescents), stress, depression, and loneliness. Taken together, the findings confirmed that autonomy and relatedness are fundamental needs for both teens and emerging adults related to parental support and psychological health. Notwithstanding, age moderated some of the investigated relationships suggesting that autonomy and relatedness have different meanings, as well as playing different roles during adolescence and emerging adulthood.
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Inguglia, C., Ingoglia, S., Liga, F. et al. Autonomy and Relatedness in Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood: Relationships with Parental Support and Psychological Distress. J Adult Dev 22, 1–13 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10804-014-9196-8
- Emerging adulthood
- Psychological distress
- Parental support