ORIGINAL ARTICLE: BEHAVIORAL
AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
Proﬁles of needs satisfaction and thwarting in older people
living at home: Relationships with well-being and ill-being
and Claude Ferrand
Department of Psychology, Research Team of Psychology of Ages of Life (EA 2114), University François Rabelais, Tours and
Department of Psychology, Laboratory on Vulnerabilities and Innovation in Sport (EA 7428), University Claude Bernard Lyon 1,
Aim: To examine the proﬁles of basic psychological needs satisfaction (BPNS) and thwarting (BPNT) in older peo-
ple living at home, their relationship with well-being and ill-being indicators, and how BPNS and BPNT needs were
related to these indicators using regression analyses.
Methods: Participants (n = 182; mean age 73.33 years; SD 7.07 years) completed the measures of BPNS, BPNT,
purpose in life, personal growth, subjective vitality, self-esteem, positive and negative affective states, and depressive
feelings. Sociodemographic data were collected.
Results: Cluster analyses show two distinct proﬁles: (i) high degrees of BPNS and low degrees of BPNT; and
(ii) moderate degrees of both BPNS and BPNT. No effect of cluster membership on demographic characteristics was
reported. Multivariate analysis of variance (
) results showed that participants in proﬁle 1 had a higher level of
well-being (personal growth, purpose in life, subjective vitality, self-esteem and positive affective states) and a lower
level of ill-being (negative affective state and depressive feelings) than those in proﬁle 2. For all participants, the ﬁnd-
ings showed that competence and relatedness need satisfactions were signiﬁcantly and positively related to well-being
indicators (positive affective states, purpose of life and subjective vitality respectively). Autonomy and competence
need thwarting were signiﬁcantly and positively related to negative affective states.
Conclusions: The present results suggest using the BPNS and BPNT scales simultaneously to better understand
the mechanisms that contribute to well-being and ill-being in older people. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2018; 18: 470–478.
Keywords: cluster analysis, ill-being, older people, satisfaction and thwarting needs, well-being.
The present study focuses on Basic Psychological
a subtheory within Self-Determination
(SDT), which proposes the existence of three
innate and universal basic psychological needs, and
underlines that their satisfaction is essential for people’s
well-being. The need for autonomy reﬂects the need
for individuals to feel volitional, free and responsible
for their own acts, the need for competence is deﬁned
as the extent to which individuals interact effectively
with their environment, and the need for relatedness
regards the degree to which individuals feel a secure
sense of belongingness and connectedness to others.
Previous research carried out in different domains
(e.g. sport, education, work and healthcare) and
across cultures has established a clear link between
basic psychological need satisfaction (BPNS) and
In older people, few studies have
focused on this issue. Some of them have neverthe-
less shown that BPNS was positively associated with
well-being indicators (e.g. purpose in life, personal
growth) in older people living in residential homes
or in nursing homes,
and showed that low scores on
BPNS was associated with depressive feelings and
apathy in hospitalized older people
or with lowered
well-being in nursing homes.
Ryan and Deci have shown that, “SDT has histori-
cally dealt not only with growth and well-being, but
equally with the undermining, alienating and
Accepted for publication 19 September 2017.
Correspondence: Charlotte Vanhove-Meriaux PhD Student,
EA2114 Psychology of Ages of Life (EA 2114), Department of
Psychology, University François Rabelais, Tours 37041, Tours
Cedex 1 France. Email: email@example.com
| doi: 10.1111/ggi.13205 © 2017 Japan Geriatrics Society
Geriatr Gerontol Int 2018; 18: 470–478