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Psychometric Properties and Validity of a Brief Scale Measuring Basic Psychological Needs Satisfaction in Adolescents

Laura Girelli, Elisa Cavicchiolo, Fabio Lucidi, Mauro Cozzolino, Fabio Alivernini, Sara Manganelli


Studies have shown that the satisfaction of basic psychological needs, as defined by Self-Determination Theory, has a great impact on adolescents’ well-being, prosocial behavior and academic success. In the present study, we aim to validate a brief scale for adolescents measuring the satisfaction of the three basic needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness. A preliminary qualitative study was conducted to select and adapt for adolescents a subset of 12 items from the original version of the Basic Psychological Needs Satisfaction Scale (BPNS). This version of the scale was then analyzed in terms of dimensionality, measurement invariance and criterion validity on a sample of 308 Italian adolescents (M age = 14.04 years; 57.1% males). The results of confirmatory factor analyses supported the posited three-factors structure and the measurement invariance of the instrument across gender. Correlations with a measure of psychological well-being provided evidence for criterion validity. The scale proved to be a valid and reliable instrument to measure the levels of satisfaction of the psychological need for autonomy, competence and relatedness in adolescents.


Adolescents; Basic psychological needs; Measurement invariance; Scale; Validation.

Full Text:



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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/ecps-2019-020-gire

Copyright (©) 2019 Laura Girelli, Elisa Cavicchiolo, Fabio Lucidi, Mauro Cozzolino, Fabio Alivernini, Sara Manganelli – Editorial format and Graphical layout: copyright (©) LED Edizioni Universitarie


Journal of Educational, Cultural and Psychological Studies (ECPS)
Registered by Tribunale di Milano (19/05/2010 n. 278)
Online ISSN 2037-7924 - Print ISSN 2037-7932

Research Laboratory on Didactics and Evaluation - Department of Education - "Roma Tre" University

Executive Editor: Gaetano Domenici - Associate Executive Editor & Managing  Editor: Valeria Biasci
Editorial Board: Eleftheria Argyropoulou - Massimo Baldacci - Joao Barroso - Richard Bates - Christofer Bezzina - Paolo Bonaiuto - Lucia Boncori - Pietro Boscolo - Sara Bubb  - Carlo Felice Casula - Jean-Émile Charlier - Lucia Chiappetta Cajola - Carmela Covato - Jean-Louis Derouet - Peter Early - Franco Frabboni - Constance Katz - James Levin - Pietro Lucisano  - Roberto Maragliano - Romuald Normand - Michael Osborne - Donatella Palomba - Michele Pellerey - Clotilde Pontecorvo - Vitaly V. Rubtzov - Jaap Scheerens - Noah W. Sobe - Francesco Susi - Giuseppe Spadafora - Pat Thomson
Editorial Staff: Fabio Alivernini - Guido Benvenuto - Anna Maria Ciraci - Massimiliano Fiorucci - Luca Mallia - Massimo Margottini - Giovanni Moretti - Carla Roverselli 
Editorial Secretary:
Nazarena Patrizi 

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