The present study aimed to explore the mediating role of social factors on the associations between attachment styles and basic psychological needs satisfaction within two relational contexts. Athletes (N ¼ 215) completed a multi-section questionnaire pertaining to attachment styles, basic needs satisfied within the coaching and the parental relational context, and such social factors as social support, interpersonal conflict, autonomy and controlling behaviours. Bootstrap mediation analysis revealed that the association between avoidant attachment style and basic needs satisfaction with the coach was mediated by social support and autonomy-related behaviours from the coach. The association between avoidant attachment style and basic needs satisfaction with the parent on the other hand was mediated by all social factors investigated. Finally, the association between anxious attachment style and basic needs satisfaction from the parent was mediated by conflict and controlling behaviours. Overall, the findings of the current study suggest that social factors play an important role in explaining the associations between attachment styles and basic needs satisfaction within two central relational contexts athletes operate in, and thus should be targeted in future interventions.
|Journal of Sports Sciences
|Published - 2013