Assessing the Relationship between Autonomy Support and Student Group Cohesion across Ibero-American Countries

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Jun 4;17(11):3981. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17113981.


Teacher-endorsed supporting behaviors present themselves as key influencers of student adaptive academic and social functions. The objective of this paper was twofold. First, this study sought to test a model in which student-perceived autonomy support was associated with group cohesion, considering the mediating role of basic psychological needs satisfaction and intrinsic motivation. Second, the current study examined the dimensionality of the model across five Western countries, namely Spain, Portugal, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico. A convenience sample of 3033 college students (Mage = 21.51 ± SD = 3.71) were recruited for the analysis. The results revealed that perceived autonomy support was positively associated with needs satisfaction, being consequently associated with intrinsic motivation and, ultimately, with group cohesion. Additionally, a multigroup analysis revealed that the model was invariant across college students from the different countries. The current results are discussed around the promotion of teacher uses of autonomy-supportive behaviors fostering adaptive outcomes in students regarding positive social relations and that the cultures of Ibero-American countries are equivalent in this process.

Keywords: cross-cultural; motivational styles; self-determination theory; social cohesion; students.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Humans
  • Mexico
  • Motivation
  • Peer Group*
  • Personal Autonomy*
  • Portugal
  • Social Support
  • Spain
  • Students*