Basic Psychological Needs as mediators: An examination of the relationship between exercise and well-being
Meldrum, Lindsay S.
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Grounded in Basic Psychological Needs Theory (Deci & Ryan, 2002), the present investigation examined whether psychological need satisfaction mediated the relationship between moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and well-being. Adopting a longitudinal design participants (N= 147) completed questionnaires assessing MVPA, well-being and perceived psychological need satisfaction in exercise contexts on three occasions separated by three weeks. A pattern of small-to-moderate correlations were noted between MVPA and indices of well-being (r12's ranged from .16 to .29). Multiple mediation analysis indicated that perceived psychological need satisfaction mediated the relationship between MVPA and well-being with perceived competence emerging as a unique mediator. Serial mediation analyses indicated the importance of ongoing psychological need satisfaction to well-being. Contexts that afford individuals the opportunity to engage in MVPA, as well as supports their need for competence, would be most advantageous for the promotion of psychological well-being.