Basic psychological needs, motivation and engagement in adolescent students

Ricardo Cuevas, Tomás García-Calvo, Juan González, Juan G. Fernández-Bustos


Using self-determination theory, the principal objective of the study was to analyze the relations between basic need satisfaction and thwarting, autonomous and controlled motivation, and agentic engagement in adolescent (n = 377) in physical education context. A structural equation model was tested. The satisfaction of the three needs predicted autonomous motivation. In turn, autonomous motivation predicted agentic engagement (β = ,26; p < ,01). Also, agentic engagement was signicantly and positively predicted by autonomy satisfaction (β = ,38; p < ,01). On the other hand, need thwarting autonomy and relatedness predicted controlled motivation. Need thwarting competence negatively predicted autonomous motivation (β = -,50; p < ,01). Controlled motivation and agentic engagement were not significantly related. These findings expand the theoretical basis of the understudied concept of agentic engagement and emphasize the importance of support psychological needs in physical education context, especially autonomy, in order to improve the involvement of the students in their learning processes.


Self-determination; Autonomy; Structural equation modeling; Secondary education; Learning

Full Text:

PDF (Español)

Article Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM
Copyright (c) 2018