Table of Contents
Advances in Psychiatry
Volume 2014, Article ID 240125, 5 pages
Research Article

Self-Determination Theory and First-Episode Psychosis: A Replication

1Department of Psychiatry, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85713, USA
2Department of Psychiatry, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA
3Department of Psychiatry, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA

Received 24 June 2014; Accepted 15 August 2014; Published 8 September 2014

Academic Editor: Takahiro Nemoto

Copyright © 2014 Nicholas J. K. Breitborde et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Self-determination theory (SDT) posits that human well-being depends on the satisfaction of three basic psychological needs: autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Although many scholars have suggested that SDT may be relevant to psychotic disorders, only one empirical study of SDT in individuals with psychosis has been completed to date by Breitborde and colleagues (2012). This study revealed that individuals with first-episode psychosis reported lower satisfaction of the three basic psychological needs as compared to individuals without psychosis. Moreover, greater satisfaction of basic psychological needs was modestly associated with lower general symptoms (e.g., anxiety and depression), greater social functioning, and better quality of life. Thus, the goal of this project was to replicate Breitborde et al.’s (2012) investigation of basic psychological need satisfaction among individuals with first-episode psychosis. Our results supported the conclusion that individuals with first-episode psychosis report lower autonomy, competence, and relatedness than individuals without psychosis. Moreover, our results comport with the finding that greater need satisfaction was associated with less severe symptomatology and better social functioning and quality of life. In total, the findings lend further credence to the hypothesis that SDT may help to inform the development of improved clinical services for individuals with psychotic disorders.