The Mediating Role of Needs Satisfaction for Prosocial Behavior and Autonomy Support

Kındap Tepe Y., Aktaş V.

Current Psychology, vol.40, no.10, pp.5212-5224, 2021 (SSCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 40 Issue: 10
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s12144-019-00466-9
  • Journal Name: Current Psychology
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, IBZ Online, BIOSIS, Business Source Elite, Business Source Premier, Psycinfo
  • Page Numbers: pp.5212-5224
  • Keywords: Basic psychological needs satisfaction, Perceived autonomy support from parents and teachers, Prosocial behavior
  • Ondokuz Mayıs University Affiliated: Yes


This study examines gender differences in compliant/anonymous prosocial behaviors and perceived autonomy support. The mediation effects of needs satisfaction on relationships between perceived autonomy support and prosocial behaviors in Turkish culture are also tested. A total of 420 freshmen, sophomore, and junior students (210 female, 202 male) from various departments at a small state university in Turkey participated in the study. They were first, third and fourth year students and the mean age was 21.87 (SD = 1.71; range = 19–31). Parental Autonomy Support Scale (Soenens et al. Developmental Psychology, 43, 633–646, 2007), the Learning Climate Questionnaire (Williams and Deci Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70, 767-779 1996), the Basic Needs Satisfaction in General Scale (Deci and Ryan Psychological Inquiry, 11, 227-268 2000; Gagné 2003), and the Prosocial Tendencies Measure (Carlo and Randall Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 31, 31-44 2002) were used to collect data. With respect to gender differences, a One-Way ANOVA analysis showed that women scored higher than men regarding compliant and anonymous prosocial behaviors. Additionally, mediation analyses revealed that women perceived that they were the recipient of more autonomy support from their university teachers than men. No significant difference was found in respect to the provision of autonomous support from parents, nor with respect to basic needs satisfaction. The analysis of mediation effects of needs satisfaction showed that relationships between compliant and anonymous prosocial behaviors and perceived autonomy support from parents and teachers were mediated by basic needs satisfaction. These results were discussed in the framework of Self Determination Theory.