Attachment and well-being: The mediating effects of psychological needs satisfaction within the coach–athlete and parent–athlete relational contexts


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Abstract

Objectives:Grounded in attachment theory and self-determination theory, this study aimed to examine whether basic needs satisfaction is a mechanism by which athletes' insecure attachment styles are associated with levels of well-being.Method:Athletes (N = 430) from a range of sports and competition levels completed a multi-section questionnaire to assess the main variables of the study.Results:Bootstrap mediation analysis revealed that athletes' perceptions of satisfaction of basic psychological needs generally mediated the association between their attachment styles and well-being. Moreover, the indirect effect of athletes' experience of the satisfaction of basic needs on well-being was greater within the parental relational context than within the coaching relational context.Conclusions:Overall, the findings from the study highlight that the integration of attachment and self-determination theories can promote understanding of relational process in sport.

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