Autonomy support, psychological control, basic psychological needs and the drive for thinness among early adolescents
Keywords:psychological control, autonomy support, early adolescents, drive for thinness, basic psychological needs
Objectives. This study aims to expand previous research findings by focusing on the mechanism of the frustration and satisfaction of basic psychological needs that links parental psychological control and autonomy support to the drive for thinness as an indicator of disordered eating among early adolescent boys and girls in Slovakia.
Participants and setting. 443 pupils (47.6% girls) reported on the explored variables in a cross-sectional data collection.
Hypotheses. The drive for thinness was hypothesised to be (1) negatively associated with the satisfaction of basic psychological needs and (2) positively associated with the frustration of basic psychological needs. Autonomy support from the mother (3) and father (4) was hypothesised to be positively related to basic psychological needs satisfaction. Psychological control from the mother (5) and father (6) was hypothesised to be positively linked to basic psychological needs frustration. Autonomy support from the mother (7) and father (8) and psychological control from the mother (9) and father (10) were also hypothesised to be indirectly associated with the drive for thinness.
Statistical analysis. Structural equation modelling was carried out and the model was found to be statistically equivalent for boys and girls.
Results. The psychological control from the mother was significantly associated with the frustration of basic psychological needs, which was subsequently associated with the drive for thinness. Autonomy support from the mother and father significantly positively explained the satisfaction of basic psychological needs.
Limitations. The mediation model was tested using a cross-sectional design. However, the temporal ordering of the examined variables is clear. Furthermore, while the used measures are standardized and widely used abroad, their validation in the population of Slovak adolescents is needed. Other inaccuracies could have been caused by the exclusion of the part of the sample from the analyses and the self-reporting nature of the data.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Lucia Barbierik, Mária Bačíková-Šléšková, Oľga Orosová, Jozef Benka
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.