“What I need is more than a job”: a self-determination theory based profile of disconnected and working youth in Turkey

Kantaş, Özge
Among youth who are neither employed nor in education or training (NEET, or "disconnected youth”) Turkey has the highest OECD rate. Although education and employment policies target this problem; psychological wellbeing is another issue that needs specific attention, which was lacking so far. For this, Self-determination Theory (SDT), as a macro theory of human motivation and development, is used as a framework to depict the psychosocial experiences and well-being. Being prone to meaninglessness, worthlessness, and isolatedness, their basic psychological needs are hypothesized to be thwarted in unemployment. To test this, the satisfaction and frustration of basic needs and their outcomes among unemployed (N=105) and employed (N=196) youth sample are assessed. It is hypothesized that more need satisfaction and less frustration would predict higher autonomous functioning (high authorship, less susceptibility to control, and impersonality) which in turn, would be associated with better well-being and lower ill-being outcomes for both samples; where, on the other hand, mean level differences are expected. MACS ( means and covariance structure analysis) in SEM is conducted. The results show that the model fits both data well within a single integrated framework, with partial invariance (authorship and susceptibility failed to predict well-being and ill-being among disconnected and working youth respectively). Partially supporting the hypothesis, although their need frustration levels are equal, unemployed group has lower need satisfaction. The supplementary qualitative data further discusses these findings given the social economic and cultural circumstances within SDT lens, which is believed to have future implications about scientifically driven intervention policies.


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Citation Formats
Ö. Kantaş, ““What I need is more than a job”: a self-determination theory based profile of disconnected and working youth in Turkey,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2018.