Exploring the social-environmental determinants of well- and ill-being in dancers: a test of Basic Needs Theory

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Colleges, School and Institutes


Grounded in the basic needs mini-theory (Deci & Ryan, 2000), this study examined the interplay among perceptions of the social environment manifested in vocational dance schools, basic need satisfaction, and indices of elite dancers' well- and ill-being. The hypothesized mediating role of need satisfaction was also tested. Dancers (N = 392) completed a questionnaire tapping the targeted variables. Structural equation modeling supported a model in which perceptions of task-involving dance environments positively predicted need satisfaction. Perceived ego-involving climates negatively corresponded with competence and relatedness. Perceptions of autonomy support were positively related to autonomy and relatedness. Need satisfaction positively predicted positive affect. Competence and relatedness satisfaction corresponded negatively to reported negative affect. Emotional and physical exhaustion was not related to need satisfaction. Partial support emerged for the assumed mediation of the needs. Results highlight the relevance of task-involving and autonorny-supportive dance climates for elite dancers' need satisfaction and healthful engagement in vocational dance.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-60
JournalJournal of sport & exercise psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010


  • well-being, need satisfaction, motivational climate, autonomy support, self-determination theory, confirmatory factor-analysis, perceived, psychological needs, physical-education, athlete burnout, psychometric properties, intrinsic, motivation, negative affect