A self-determination theory perspective on autonomy support, autonomous self-regulation, and perceived school performance

Lucas M Jeno, Åge Diseth


A self-determination theory perspective on motivation assumes that students’ motivation may be described in terms of perceived autonomy support from their teacher, their basic need satisfaction, self-regulation and perceived competence. The present study investigated these aspects of motivation among 316 upper secondary school students. A path analysis showed that students' perceived autonomy support predicted their need satisfaction, which in turn predicted autonomous self- regulation, perceived competence and perceived school performance. The relation between basic need satisfaction and perceived school performance was fully mediated by autonomous self-regulation. Finally, the students' perceived autonomy support was partly accounted for at class-level, indicating that the students in the same class to some extent had similar experience of autonomy support. In conclusion, the present findings supported a motivational model in accordance with self-determination theory.

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Editor-in-Chief: Prof Norbert Pachler
UCL Institute of Education, University College London
ISSN 1746-9082