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Aspects of autonomy support and satisfaction for disadvantaged groups

Al-Khouja, Maya 2021. Aspects of autonomy support and satisfaction for disadvantaged groups. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Autonomy involves a sense that one’s behaviour is authentic, volitional and aligned with inner beliefs. Though extant literature describes the importance of both autonomy satisfaction and autonomy support from others with whom one interacts, little work has been conducted to understand what specific qualities comprise autonomy satisfaction and its support. In other words, we know little of how and why autonomy matters for individuals’ well-being. In two empirical chapters, I describe an understudied aspect of autonomy satisfaction: whether self-expression is congruent (autonomy satisfying) or incongruent (autonomy-thwarting) with the self. Therefore, in a first empirical chapter (Chapter 3), I investigated two types of self-expression: authentic self-expression (that supports autonomy) and inauthentic self-expression (that may undermine autonomy). I developed a new scale to assess these constructs and show they are distinct from, but closely linked with, the internal experience of feeling authentic and that they foster feelings of agency. In Chapter 4, I further examined what happens when people think of in-group others’ undermined self-expression. Specifically, I tested whether vicariously undermining autonomous self-expression can elicit a reactive response to reassert one’s own autonomy through self-expression. In two final empirical chapters, I studied autonomy support from close others within samples of individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB; with transgender and related communities, LGBT+). Disadvantaged individuals, such as those who are LGBT+, are known to have worse well-being than the general population and may benefit more from autonomy support. Therefore, understanding autonomy support for this minority group is an important step in rectifying health disparities. Chapter 5 uses a large pre-existing dataset to analyse the importance of specific components of autonomy support within close relationships in an LGB sample, whilst Chapter 6 further explored the components of autonomy support and their relation to well-being in LGBT+ individuals

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 19 July 2021
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2021 14:47

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