Basic psychological needs: A self-determination theory perspective on the promotion of wellness across development and cultures

Richard M. Ryan, Aislinn R. Sapp

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

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

The concept of wellbeing concerns a person's capacity for optimal functioning, and encompasses not only the issue of physical health, but also a sense of interest in one's surroundings, a confidence in being able to formulate and act to fulfil important goals, and the motivation and energy to persist in the face of obstacles. A ‘well’ being is able to maintain its vitality and to thrive within its everyday ecological context. Accordingly, there is increasing recognition that the study of human wellbeing must consider more than merely the physical requirements of persons, but it must also address the nutriments and processes entailed in psychological and social fitness. In this chapter, we discuss the concept of wellbeing and the psychological needs of individuals within social contexts that make this larger concept of thriving possible. Specifically we employ the framework of Self-Determination Theory (SDT, Deci and Ryan 2000; Ryan and Deci 2000b), an empirically based perspective on development and wellness. The theory specifies a small number of basic psychological needs whose fulfilment is necessary for psychological wellness, and whose importance is both cross-developmental (applies to all ages) and cross-cultural (applies to all humans). SDT also specifies criteria for wellness that go beyond hedonic definitions of happiness and include eudaimonic conceptions of wellness that concern the actualisation of intrinsic potentials (Ryan and Deci 2001).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWellbeing in Developing Countries
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Theory to Research
PublisherCambridge University Press
Pages71-92
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9780511488986
ISBN (Print)9780521857512
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2007

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Basic psychological needs: A self-determination theory perspective on the promotion of wellness across development and cultures'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this