Motivation and Basic Psychological Needs Satisfaction in Active Travel to Different Destinations: A Cluster Analysis with Adolescents Living in Germany

Denise Renninger, Joachim Bachner, Xavier García-Massó, Javier Molina-García, Anne Kerstin Reimers, Isabel Marzi, Franziska Beck, Yolanda Demetriou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Active travel in adolescence contributes to improved health outcomes. Self-Determination Theory suggests that motivation and basic psychological needs influence travel behavior. Person-centered approaches can examine interrelationships of these constructs underlying travel behavior. The aim of this study was to investigate (i) which clusters can be identified in adolescents, (ii) whether clusters explain overall active travel behavior, (iii) whether clusters were associated with travel mode to various destinations or distance, and (iv) whether differences across clusters appear regarding sex/gender, age, and weight status. The sample included 517 (263 male, 254 female) adolescents from Germany, aged 11–15. Self-organizing maps analysis identified six clusters from nine input variables: intrinsic motivation, integrated regulation, identified regulation, introjected regulation, external regulation, amotivation, autonomy satisfaction, competence satisfaction, and relatedness satisfaction. The most beneficial cluster regarding active travel demonstrated highest basic psychological needs satisfaction and autonomous motivation with low controlled motivation and amotivation. The most vulnerable cluster was characterized by generally low levels of motivation except for external regulation and amotivation. Clusters were not associated with distance to school, friends/relatives, shopping facilities, or leisure facilities. The findings support the importance of high quality and high quantity of motivation for active travel in adolescents.

Original languageEnglish
Article number272
JournalBehavioral Sciences
Volume13
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2023

Keywords

  • ARRIVE
  • active transport
  • behavioral regulation
  • commuting
  • health promotion
  • youth

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