The relation of psychological needs for autonomy and relatedness to vitality, well-being, and mortality in a nursing home

Virginia Grow Kasser, Richard M. Ryan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

227 Scopus citations

Abstract

Drawing from both self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 1991) and Carstensen's (1993) socioemotional selectivity theory, we hypothesized that well-being and health would be facilitated by: (a) greater personal autonomy; (b) perceived support for autonomy from both nursing-home staff and residents' friends and relatives; and (c) the emotional quality (rather than quantity) of residents' contacts with friends and family. Results based on structured interview and survey data from 50 nursing-home residents, showed that both autonomy support and relatedness indexes correlated with psychological outcomes. Personal autonomy also was significantly related to mortality at a 1-year follow-up. It also was found that subjective vitality (Ryan & Frederick, 1997) was associated with lower distress and greater well-being, and perceived autonomy and relatedness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)935-954
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume29
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1999

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