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ERIC Number: EJ978275
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jan
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 77
ISSN: ISSN-0012-1649
On the Association between Adolescent Autonomy and Psychosocial Functioning: Examining Decisional Independence from a Self-Determination Theory Perspective
Van Petegem, Stijn; Beyers, Wim; Vansteenkiste, Maarten; Soenens, Bart
Developmental Psychology, v48 n1 p76-88 Jan 2012
In the present study, we focus on the concept of adolescent autonomy and its relation with psychosocial functioning. Specifically, we aim to differentiate between 2 prevailing conceptualizations of autonomy, that is, (a) autonomy defined as independence versus dependence and (b) autonomy defined as self-endorsed versus controlled functioning. A 2nd goal is to examine the relative contribution of each autonomy operationalization in the prediction of adolescents' adjustment (i.e., well-being, problem behavior, and intimacy). Data were gathered in a sample of 707 Belgian adolescents. Using a newly developed questionnaire, we assessed both the degree of independent decision making per se and the self-endorsed versus controlled motives underlying both independent and dependent decision making. The degree of independent decision making could clearly be differentiated from the underlying motives for doing so. Moreover, independent decision making as such showed unique associations with more problem behavior. Further, as expected, self-endorsed motives for both independent and dependent decision making generally related to an adaptive pattern of psychosocial functioning, and controlled motives were associated with maladjustment. The discussion focuses on the difference between the 2 perspectives on autonomy and on the different meaning of the motives underlying independent, relative to dependent, decision making. (Contains 1 figure, 2 tables, and 3 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Belgium