Satisfaction of basic psychological needs as a mediator of the relationship between community esteem and wellbeing
Keywords:community esteem, basic psychological needs, hedonic wellbeing, eudaimonic wellbeing
Past research has shown that possessing a strong sense of community or esteem for one’s community is positively related to feelings of psychological wellbeing. Much less research has examined what mechanisms may underlie this relationship. Self-determination theory, a theory of human personality and optimal functioning, proposes the existence of three species-typical basic psychological needs (for competence, relatedness, and autonomy), the satisfaction of which is crucial for experiencing wellbeing. We hypothesized that need satisfaction is a mediator of the relationship between feelings of esteem for one’s community and several widely employed measures of wellbeing among a sample of residents living in an urban community in the United States. In accord with the primary hypotheses, the results revealed a robust association between community esteem and both hedonic and eudaimonic measures of wellbeing. Furthermore, the associations between community esteem and wellbeing were mediated by self-reported satisfaction of basic psychological needs. This work contributes to an improved understanding of the complex relationship between esteem for one’s community and psychological wellbeing and has implications for debates surrounding the benefits and role of community in individuals’ lives.
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