Autonomy Support and Need Satisfaction in the Motivation and Well-Being of Gymnasts

Marylène Gagné, Richard M. Ryan, Kelly Bargmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

596 Scopus citations


This study examined the effects of young athletes' perceptions of support from coaches and parents on their need satisfaction, motivation, and well-being. Using the framework of self-determination theory (Ryan &Deci, 2000b), a 4-week diary study of 33 female gymnasts from the northeastern U.S. was conducted that examined (a) the relations of perceived parent and coach supports to the athlete's enduring and daily motivation and need satisfaction and (b) how daily motivation and psychological need satisfaction during practice affects athletes' well-being. Results obtained using hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) revealed that, as predicted, daily motivation predicted pre-practice well-being, and that changes in well-being from pre- to post-practice varied systematically with the need satisfaction experienced during practice. Discussion highlights the importance of adult supports for adolescent sport participants to ensure need satisfaction, and the advantages of diary methodologies in sport research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)372-390
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Applied Sport Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2003


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