Self-Determination Theory Perspective on Attachment, Need Satisfaction, and Well-Being in a Sample of Athletes: A Longitudinal Study

in Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology

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Luke FeltonUniversity of Roehampton

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Sophia JowettLoughborough University

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The current study aimed to examine whether (a) mean differences and changes in athletes’ attachment style predicted psychological need satisfaction within two diverse relational contexts (coach and parent) and well-being, and (b) mean differences and changes in need satisfaction within the two relational contexts predicted well-being. One hundred and ten athletes aged between 15 and 32 years old completed a multisection questionnaire at three time points over a span of 6 months to assess the main study variables. Multilevel modeling revealed that insecure attachment styles (anxious and avoidant) predicted well-being outcomes at the within- and between-person levels. Avoidant attachment predicted need satisfaction within the parent relational context at both levels, and need satisfaction within the coach relational context at the between-person level. Need satisfaction within both relational contexts predicted various well-being outcomes at the between-person level, while need satisfaction within the parent relational context predicted vitality at the within-person level.

Felton is with the University of Roehampton, London, UK. Jowett is with Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK.

Address author correspondence to Sophia Jowett at S.Jowett@lboro.ac.uk
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