An Investigation of Taiwanese High School Students’ Basic Psychological Need Satisfaction and Frustration in Science Learning Contexts in Relation to Their Science Learning Self-Efficacy

  • Ya-Ling WangEmail author
  • Chin-Chung TsaiEmail author


The purpose of the current research was to develop an instrument for high school students aiming to explore the satisfaction and frustration of their basic psychological needs of autonomy, relatedness, and competence while learning science and to investigate their relation to self-efficacy in science learning. This research involves two studies. In study 1, a total of 392 students (32% females) were solicited from high schools in Taiwan. The results of exploratory factor analysis showed, as expected, that the students’ responses were grouped into autonomy satisfaction, autonomy frustration, relatedness satisfaction, relatedness frustration, competence satisfaction, and competence frustration. The regression analysis results indicated that students whose psychological needs were satisfied displayed higher self-efficacy while learning science; however, students whose psychological needs were frustrated showed lower science learning self-efficacy. Study 2 involved 699 students (33.5% females) from high schools in Taiwan. The results of confirmatory factor analysis suggest that the survey items have good construct validity. The results of structural equation modeling also revealed that satisfaction of psychological needs was the positive factor in explaining self-efficacy; on the other hand, frustration of psychological needs did not predict self-efficacy. The findings revealed that the satisfaction of psychological needs of autonomy, relatedness, and competence provides potential impetus for positive functioning with respect to science learning.


Basic psychological need satisfaction and frustration Self-efficacy Science learning self-efficacy 



This work was financially supported by the “Institute for Research Excellence in Learning Sciences” of National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) from The Featured Areas Research Center Program within the framework of the Higher Education Sprout Project by the Ministry of Education (MOE) in Taiwan, and was also supported by Ministry of Science and Technology in Taiwan [MOST 106-2511-S-003 -062 -MY2; MOST 106-2511-S-003 -059 -MY3].


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Copyright information

© Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Adult and Continuing EducationNational Taiwan Normal UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  2. 2.Program of Learning SciencesNational Taiwan Normal UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  3. 3.Institute for Research Excellence in Learning SciencesNational Taiwan Normal UniversityTaipeiTaiwan

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