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Young adolescent psychological need profiles: Associations with classroom achievement and well-being

Earl, Stephen R., Taylor, Ian M., Meijen, Carla, Passfield, Louis (2019) Young adolescent psychological need profiles: Associations with classroom achievement and well-being. Psychology in the Schools, 56 (6). pp. 1004-1022. ISSN 0033-3085. (doi:10.1002/pits.22243​) (KAR id:72947)


Drawing on self‐determination theory, a person‐centered methodology was adopted to identify distinct pupil profiles based on their psychological need satisfaction. A sample of 586 pupils (387 male, 199 female; mean age = 12.6, range 11–15 years old) from three secondary schools reported their psychological need satisfaction, and well‐ and ill‐being, with teachers rating pupil achievement. Hierarchical cluster analysis revealed five distinct profiles. Four profiles indicated synergy existed between the three needs, showing similar in‐group levels of satisfaction across the needs but in varying amounts. Univariate and multivariate analyses, controlling for school and taught subject, revealed the satisfied group displayed the highest classroom performance (F4,540 = 7.03; p < 0.001; ηp2 = 0.05), well‐being (F8,1,136 = 45.63; p < 0.001; Wilk's Λ = 0.57; ηp2 = 0.24) and lowest ill‐being (F8,1,134 = 23.39; p < 0.001; Wilk's Λ = 0.74, ηp2 = 0.14), whereas the dissatisfied group displayed the most adverse outcomes. The findings illustrate that the three psychological needs may operate interdependently and should be considered in combination rather than in isolation. The research offers practical insights into why pupils may function differently in classrooms and could inform targeted initiatives towards pupils with psychological need satisfaction deficits.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1002/pits.22243​
Uncontrolled keywords: person‐centered, psychological need satisfaction, synergy
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Sport and Exercise Sciences
Depositing User: Louis Passfield
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2019 16:09 UTC
Last Modified: 28 Jul 2022 22:09 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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