“The link between needs satisfaction and well-being among Greek and Dutch adolescents: Cross-cultural components in the Self-Determination Theory”
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Self- Determination theory (SDT) is an approach to human motivation and personality that investigates people’s growth tendencies and psychological needs. The Basic Psychological Needs Theory (a sub- theory of SDT) claims that the satisfaction of the three basic psychological needs identified by the SDT (the need for competence, relatedness and autonomy) contribute to optimal functioning, well- being and proactivity, whereas the frustration of these basic needs may cause passivity, fragmentation and ill- being in all races and cultures. However, there is a debate regarding the universality of SDT. This study will examine the link between need satisfaction and well- being and test whether this link is related to cultural values -- as some cross- cultural research has shown. In this study 108 Greek and 22 Dutch adolescents filled out online questionnaires assessing their well- being (Subjective Well- Being, Satisfaction with Life, Subjective Vitality), the satisfaction and frustration of the Basic Psychological Needs as well as their cultural orientation (Vertical – Horizontal Individualism, Vertical- Horizontal Collectivism). Results showed that the satisfaction of these needs predicted well- being in our total sample, whereas need frustration negatively predicted well- being only for relatedness. Also, autonomy satisfaction was important for the well- being of both the Dutch and the Greek participants, whereas the need for relatedness was only important for the Dutch. Autonomy frustration was linked with lower well- being for the whole sample and competence frustration only for the Dutch. This study suggested weighted universality, which means that all three needs’ satisfaction and frustration are important for well- being, but different patterns were observed depending on the situation. It should be considered as a pilot study for other in the field of cultural psychology because of its limitation of the small sample.