A Self-Determination Theory Perspective on Fostering Healthy Self-Regulation From Within and Without

Kirk Warren Brown, Richard M. Ryan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Self-determination theory argues that motivational orientations that guide behavior have important consequences for healthy behavioral regulation and psychological well-being. This chapter discusses the nature of motivation in terms of its relative autonomy and reviews evidence in support of its role in positive psychological and behavioral outcomes. The chapter begins by describing variations in the orientation of motivations as outlined within SDT. It then address factors that impact motivation at two levels: how motivators and social contexts can foster or undermine autonomous motivation; how individuals can best access and harness self-regulatory powers from within. The chapter demonstrates that autonomous regulation of inner states and overt behavior is key to a number of positive outcomes that reflect healthy behavioral and psychological functioning. Autonomy can be facilitated both from without and from within, through the receptive attention and awareness to present experience that helps to characterize mindfulness.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPositive Psychology in Practice
Subtitle of host publicationPromoting Human Flourishing in Work, Health, Education, and Everyday Life: Second Edition
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781118996874
ISBN (Print)9781118756935
StatePublished - 30 Jun 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


  • Autonomy
  • Behavioral regulation
  • Motivation
  • Psychological functioning
  • Receptive attention
  • Self-determination theory
  • Self-regulation
  • Social psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'A Self-Determination Theory Perspective on Fostering Healthy Self-Regulation From Within and Without'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this