A linear multiple regression of self-reported basic need satisfaction and depressive symptoms amongst active duty and veteran combat trade Canadian Armed Forces members

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University of New Brunswick


This study explored the basic needs of autonomy, competence, and relatedness using Self-Determination Theory (Ryan & Deci, 2017) in Canadian Armed Forces members to better understand the impact of job-specific struggles on their mental wellness. When these basic needs are violated, the individual may either act out in aberrant ways, or experience a negative impact on their mental health. Participants (n = 44) completed questionnaires assessing basic needs (BPNSF-WD), and depressive symptomatology (QIDS-SR16). A multiple regression was conducted to assess the relationship between basic needs and self-reported symptoms of depression. Results indicate that there was an inverse significant relationship between basic needs and depressive symptoms (F(4, 39) = 2.83, p = .04, r² = .23). Autonomy was the most significant predictor of depression (t = -2.34, p = .03). As autonomy satisfaction scores increased, symptoms of depression decreased. Recommendations for applied counselling practice and future research were discussed. Keywords: Self-Determination Theory, Canadian Armed Forces, depression, mental wellness, autonomy, competence, relatedness.