On the benefits of giving as well as receiving autonomy support: Mutuality in close friendships

Edward L. Deci, Jennifer G. La Guardia, Arlen C. Moller, Marc J. Scheiner, Richard M. Ryan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

289 Scopus citations

Abstract

Two studies examined autonomy support within close friendships. The first showed that receiving autonomy support from a friend predicted the recipient's need satisfaction within the relationship and relationship quality as indexed by emotional reliance, security of attachment, dyadic adjustment, and inclusion of friend in self and that there was significant mutuality of receiving autonomy support and of each other variable. The relations of perceived autonomy support to need satisfaction and relationship quality held for both female-female and male-male pairs across the two studies. The second study replicated and extended the first, showing that receiving autonomy support also predicted psychological health. Furthermore, giving autonomy support to a friend predicted the givers' experience of relationship quality over and above the effects of receiving autonomy support from the friend. When both receiving and giving autonomy support competed for variance in predicting well-being, giving, rather than receiving, autonomy support was the stronger predictor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-327
Number of pages15
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Volume32
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2006

Keywords

  • Friendships
  • Mutuality of autonomy support
  • Self-determination theory

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