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Assessing autonomy, relatedness, and competence in higher education: the Swedish need satisfaction and frustration scale
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Departement of Educational Measurement.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5599-7253
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Police Education Unit at Umeå University.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9861-3144
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Police Education Unit at Umeå University.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1230-6720
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Departement of Educational Measurement.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5884-6469
2022 (English)In: Education Inquiry, E-ISSN 2000-4508Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Need-satisfying experiences corresponding to students' psychological needs of autonomy, relatedness, and competence lead to increased academic engagement and well-being. A lack of education-specific basic needs instruments validated in Swedish may inhibit basic needs research in Swedish-speaking student populations. Thus, the present study aimed to adapt the Need Satisfaction and Frustration Scale (NSFS) to the context of education in Sweden and validate this new Swedish NSFS in a sample of Swedish university students (n = 417, 59.7% women, mean age = 23.3 (SD = 4.3) years). Confirmatory factor analysis was used to investigate the dimensionality of NSFS ratings, followed by structural equation modelling of nomological networks of basic needs, academic engagement, life satisfaction, academic burnout, and perceived stress. The NSFS ratings were best described by a three-factor model with methods correction for reversed item bias. Results showed that each need uniquely contributed to perceived stress and academic burnout. Relatedness and competence, but not autonomy, were significant predictors of life satisfaction and academic engagement. The main study contribution was providing a Swedish NSFS to assess autonomy, relatedness, and competence in higher education. The results support the use of the Swedish NSFS as a three-dimensional measure of basic needs in Swedish-speaking student populations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2022.
Keywords [en]
Well-being, education, confirmatory factor analysis, self-determination theory, basic psychological needs
National Category
Didactics Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-199255DOI: 10.1080/20004508.2022.2116877ISI: 000850168500001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85137749084OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-199255DiVA, id: diva2:1694403
Note

Originally included in thesis in manuscript form.

Available from: 2022-09-09 Created: 2022-09-09 Last updated: 2023-08-24
In thesis
1. Analyzing self-report data: assessing basic psychological needs in education and at work
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Analyzing self-report data: assessing basic psychological needs in education and at work
2022 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Analys av självskattningsdata : mätning av grundläggande psykologiska behov i utbildning och arbete
Abstract [en]

The overall aims of this thesis were 1) to investigate how to measure and model basic psychological needs in higher education and work contexts, specifically in Swedish-speaking populations, and 2) to analyze the psychometric properties of basic psychological needs self-report instruments.

The thesis consists of four studies and a summary. The main concepts studied were the basic psychological needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness, as conceptualized in the Self- Determination Theory (SDT).

The first study identified subgroups of early career psychologists characterized by their ratings on self- efficacy, psychological flexibility, and basic psychological need satisfaction. The results show that the groups differed in self-rated health, well-being, and intention to leave their profession. Higher basic psychological need satisfaction, self-efficacy, and psychological flexibility were associated with better self-rated health and well-being.

The second study was an extensive psychometric evaluation of the need satisfaction and frustration scale (NSFS) in a large sample of Swedish workers. The analyses supported measurement invariance longitudinally and for gender, as well as the nomological validity of the scale. The dimensionality analyses supported a six-dimensional structure of the NSFS that takes small cross-loadings into account in an exploratory structural equation modeling representation. However, poor discrimination between need satisfaction and need frustration was present for some items.

The third study translated a revised Swedish version of the NSFS, adapted to the educational domain, and validated it in a sample of Swedish university students. Dimensionality analyses supported using the NSFS as a three-dimensional measure of students' need for autonomy, need for competence, and need for relatedness. In support of nomological validity, each need uniquely contributed to predicting perceived stress and academic burnout. However, unexpectedly, autonomy did not provide incremental value beyond competence and relatedness in predicting life satisfaction and academic engagement.

The fourth study translated and adapted the basic psychological need satisfaction and frustration scale (BPNSFS) to Swedish and the educational domain (BPNSFS-ED). This study also investigated the coherence between the BPNSFS-ED and the NSFS. Factor analyses showed support for using the scale as a six- dimensional measure of students' needs satisfaction and need frustration. The coherence between the BPNSFS-ED and the NSFS was moderate, and the BPNSFS-ED appears to be a more SDT coherent measure of students’ basic psychological needs.

The main contribution of this thesis was providing researchers with a validated self-report instrument to assess basic psychological needs in Swedish education. The results also highlight challenges with measuring and modeling basic psychological needs and question whether items from well-used basic needs self-rating scales properly tap into the concept of need frustration. Finally, the results show that the need for autonomy seems to differ between basic psychological needs instruments which calls for mindfulness when choosing an instrument to measure basic psychological needs, and when comparing results across studies. Based on the results of this thesis, the BPNSFS-ED self-report instrument appears to be a good choice for researchers interested in assessing basic psychological needs in Swedish education.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, 2022. p. 46
Series
BVM / Institutionen för beteendevetenskapliga mätningar, Umeå universitet, ISSN 1652-7313Academic dissertations at the department of Educational Measurement, ISSN 1652-9650 ; 14
Series
Umeå Studies in the Educational Sciences ; 55
Keywords
Validity, Self-Determination theory, Psychometric analysis, Test adaption, Measurement
National Category
Psychology Work Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-199247 (URN)978-91-7855-891-9 (ISBN)978-91-7855-892-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2022-10-07, Hörsal UB.A.230, Lindellhallen 3, Samhällsvetarhuset, Umeå, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2022-09-16 Created: 2022-09-13 Last updated: 2022-09-14Bibliographically approved

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Holmquist, SofieInzunza, MiguelGhazinour, MehdiJonsson, Bert

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