Changes in Perceived Autonomy Support, Need Satisfaction, Motivation, and Well-Being in Young Elite Athletes

Andreas Stenling, Magnus Lindwall, Peter HASSMEN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


A 4-stage motivational sequence was investigated, in line with self-determination theory (perceived autonomy support from the coach → need satisfaction → motivation → psychological well-being). More specifically, we examined level- change associations and relations between intraindividual changes in these variables over the course of an athletic season. Young elite skiers (109 females, 138 males) enrolled at sport high schools in Sweden responded to questionnaires assessing perceived autonomy support from the coach, need satisfaction, motivation, and psychological well-being at 2 time points separated by approximately 5 months. A latent difference score model were used to analyze the data. Initial level of need satisfaction at Time 1 negatively predicted change in perceived autonomy support, motivation, and well-being, and initial level of motivation at Time 1 positively predicted change in perceived autonomy support and change in well-being. Correlations between intraindividual changes in the study variables were estimated and the variables were all positively correlated. These results indicate that the relations between these variables are complex, dynamic, and that more attention should be given to potential reciprocal effects between the variables in this motivational sequence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-61
Number of pages12
JournalSport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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