Autonomy support and well-being in teachers: differential mediations through basic psychological need satisfaction and frustration
- 31 Downloads
The purpose of this study was to explore the psychological mechanisms of how perceived autonomy support by the principal affects positive and negative aspects of teachers’ well-being. While satisfaction of the basic psychological needs (Deci and Ryan in Psychol Inquiry 11:227–268, 2000, https://doi.org/10.1207/S15327965PLI1104_01; Ryan and Deci in Am Psychol 55:68–78, 2000, https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066x.55.1.68) has already been shown to mediate this relationship (Klassen at al. in J Educ Psychol 104:150–165, 2012, https://doi.org/10.1037/a0026253), we examined need frustration and need satisfaction separately as possible differential mediators. Participants were secondary level teachers (N = 49) who completed a questionnaire on perceived autonomy support by the principal, need satisfaction, need frustration, life satisfaction, positive affect, negative affect, and emotional exhaustion. Parallel multiple mediation analyses show that on the one hand, only need satisfaction, in particular autonomy satisfaction, mediates between autonomy support and positive affect. On the other hand, only need frustration of each of the three needs is a mediator for negative affect and emotional exhaustion. However, both frustration and satisfaction of the need for autonomy mediate between autonomy support and life satisfaction. The results of this study emphasize the benefits of examining teachers’ need satisfaction and need frustration as distinct psychological processes in order to more adequately understand how the social context affects teachers’ well-being. Specifically, the role of need frustration should be considered in explaining teachers’ high ill-being. Thus, this study provides implications for fostering teachers’ health, on a school level by sensitizing principals for autonomy-supportive leadership and on an individual level by developing teachers’ coping skills for experiences of need frustration.
KeywordsTeacher perceived autonomy Principal autonomy support Self-determination theory Need frustration Subjective well-being Teacher burnout
The authors would like to thank Nina Görlach for her help with the back translation of the Work Climate Scale.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- Abós Catalán, Á., Sevil Serrano, J., Julián Clemente, J. A., Martín-Albo Lucas, J., & García-González, L. (2017). Spanish validation of the basic psychological needs at work scale: A measure to predict teachers’ well-being in the workplace. International Journal for Educational and Vocational Guidance, 18, 127–148. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10775-017-9351-4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Aldrup, K., Klusmann, U., & Lüdtke, O. (2016). Does basic need satisfaction mediate the link between stress exposure and well-being? A diary study among beginning teachers. Learning and Instruction, 50, 21–30. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.learninstruc.2016.11.005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Baard, P. P., Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2004). Intrinsic need satisfaction: A motivational basis of performance and well-being in two work settings. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 34, 2045–2068. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1559-1816.2004.tb02690.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Bartholomew, K. J., Ntoumanis, N., Ryan, R. M., Bosch, J. A., & Thøgersen-Ntoumani, C. (2011a). Self-determination functioning: The role of interpersonal control and psychological need thwarting. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 37, 1459–1473. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167211413125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Büssing, A., & Perrar, K.-M. (1992). Die Messung von Burnout. Untersuchung einer deutschen Fassung des Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI-D) [The measurement of burnout. Investigation of a German version of the Maslach Burnout Inventory]. Diagnostica, 38, 328–353.Google Scholar
- Chen, B., Vansteenkiste, M., Beyers, W., Boone, L., Deci, E. L., Van der Kaap-Deeder, J., et al. (2015). Basic psychological need satisfaction, need frustration, and need strength across four cultures. Motivation and Emotion, 39, 216–236. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11031-014-9450-1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Collie, R. J., Shapka, J. D., Perry, N. E., & Martin, A. J. (2016). Teachers’ psychological functioning in the workplace: Exploring the roles of contextual beliefs, need satisfaction, and personal characteristics. Journal of Educational Psychology, 108, 788–799. https://doi.org/10.1037/edu0000088.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Cordeiro, P., Paixão, P., Lens, W., Lacante, M., & Luyckx, K. (2016). The Portuguese validation of the basic psychological need satisfaction and frustration scale: Concurrent and longitudinal relations to well-being and ill-being. Psychologica Belgica, 56, 193–209. https://doi.org/10.5334/pb.252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Cuevas, R., Sánchez-Oliva, D., Bartholomew, K., Ntoumanis, N., & García-Calvo, T. (2015). Adaptation and validation of the psychological need thwarting scale in Spanish physical education teachers. The Spanish Journal of Psychology, 18, 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1017/sjp.2015.56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Dalbert, C. (1992). Subjektives Wohlbefinden junger Erwachsener: Theoretische und empirische Analysen der Struktur und Stabilität [Subjective well-being of young adults: Theoretical and empirical analyses of the structure and stability]. Zeitschrift für Differentielle und Diagnostische Psychologie, 13, 207–220.Google Scholar
- de Heus, P., & Diekstra, R. F. W. (1999). Do teachers burn out more easily? A comparison of teachers with other social professions on work stress and burnout symptoms. In R. Vandenberghe & A. M. Huberman (Eds.), Understanding and preventing teacher burnout: A sourcebook of international research and practice (pp. 269–284). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Deci, E. L., Ryan, R. M., Gagné, M., Leone, D. R., Usunov, J., & Kornazheva, B. P. (2001). Need satisfaction, motivation, and well-being in the work organizations of a former eastern bloc country: A cross-cultural study of self-determination. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 27, 930–942. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167201278002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Frenzel, A. C., Goetz, T., Stephens, E. J., & Jacob, B. (2009b). Antecedents and effects of teachers’ emotional experiences: An integrated perspective and empirical test. In P. A. Schutz & M. Zembylas (Eds.), Advances in teacher emotion research (pp. 129–151). Heidelberg: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Froiland, J. M., Davison, M. L., & Worrell, F. C. (2016). Aloha teachers: Teacher autonomy support promotes Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander students’ motivation, school belonging, course-taking and math achievement. Social Psychology of Education, 19, 879–894. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11218-016-9355-9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Hayes, A. F. (2013). Introduction to mediation, moderation, and conditional process analysis: A regression-based approach. New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Klusmann, U., Kunter, M., Trautwein, U., Lüdtke, O., & Baumert, J. (2008). Teachers’ occupational well-being and quality of instruction: The important role of self-regulatory patterns. Journal of Educational Psychology, 100, 702–715. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-06126.96.36.1992.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Kunter, M. (2013). Motivation as an aspect of professional competence: Research findings in teachers enthusiasm. In M. Kunter, J. Baumert, W. Blum, U. Klusmann, S. Krauss, & M. Neubrand (Eds.), Cognitive activation in the mathematics classroom and professional competence of teachers. Results from the COACTIV project (pp. 273–290). New York: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5149-5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Lucas, R. E., & Gohm, C. L. (2000). Age and sex differences in subjective wellbeing across cultures. In E. Diener & E. M. Suh (Eds.), Culture and subjective well-being (pp. 291–317). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Maslach, C., & Jackson, S. E. (1981). The Maslach Burnout Inventory (Research ed.). Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.Google Scholar
- Maslach, C., & Jackson, S. E. (1986). The Maslach Burnout Inventory. Manual (2nd ed.). Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.Google Scholar
- Milyavskaya, M., Philippe, F., & Koestner, R. (2013). Psychological need satisfaction across levels of experience: The contribution of specific-level need satisfaction to general well-being. Journal of Research in Personality, 47, 41–51. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrp.2012.10.013.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development [OECD] (2017). Bildung auf einen Blick 2017: OECD-Indikatoren [Education at a glance 2017: OECD-indicators]. Bielefeld: W. Bertelsmann Verlag. https://dx.doi.org/10.3278/6001821lw.
- Pavot, W., & Diener, E. (2013). Happiness experienced: The science of subjective well-being. In S. David, I. Boniwell, & A. C. Ayers (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of happiness (pp. 134–151). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Pyszczynski, T., Greenberg, J., & Solomon, S. (2000). Toward a dialectical analysis of growth and defensive motives. Psychological Inquiry, 11, 301–305.Google Scholar
- Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2017). Self-determination theory: Basic psychological needs in motivation, development, and wellness. New York: Guilford Publishing.Google Scholar