Can mental health problems predict dispositional self-determination? Needs satisfaction as mediator

Lihua Zhou1, Xiao-Wen Li2, Jiong Yang3, Ning Ren3
1School of Psychology and Cognitive Science, School of Education Science, East China Normal University and Zhejiang International Studies University, People’s Republic of China
2School of Psychology and Cognitive Science, East China Normal University, People’s Republic of China
3School of Education Science, Zhejiang International Studies University, People’s Republic of China
Cite this article:  Zhou, L., Li, X.-W., Yang, J., & Ren, N. (2017). Can mental health problems predict dispositional self-determination? Needs satisfaction as mediator. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 45(4), 537-550.

Volume 45 Issue 4 | e5831 | Published: May 2017 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.5831

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Motivational self-determination and its role in relation to various health-related variables in Western countries have been the focus of many researchers. However, little is known about dispositional self-determination and the influence of mental health problems among the Chinese. We examined dispositional self-determination among Chinese first-year college students and tested whether or not mental health problems could predict self-determination through needs satisfaction. Data were collected from 496 students at 2 time periods. Results showed that there was no difference in dispositional self-determination among the various demographic groups. However, participants whose university experience met their expectations reported a higher degree of self-determination than did those who had found it did not meet their expectations. Structural equation modeling results revealed that mental health problems at Time 1 could negatively predict self-determination at Time 2. This relationship was partially mediated by needs satisfaction measured at Time 2. Practical implications and limitations are discussed.

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