Predicting Students’ Adjustment considering Basic Psychological Needs and Achievement Goals

Document Type : Original Article


1 Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology and Educational Sciences,faculty of Humanities,Arak University, Arak, Iran, (Corresponding author):

2 M A in school counseling, Allameh Tabataba'i University Tehran, Iran.

3 Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology and Educational Sciences,faculty of Humanities,Arak University,Arak, Iran


The objective of this study was to examine the relationship between basic psychological needs and achievement goals and students' adjustment. The research method was correlation, and the study’s population included all students of Kharzmi University. The sample consisted of 200 students (i.e., 100 females and 100 males) who were selected through convenience sampling method. The instrument included Basic Psychological Needs scale (Guardia, Deci & Ryan, 2000), Midgley’s Goal Orientations scale (GOS) (1998) and Farahbkhsh’s College Adjustment scale (CAS). The data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics, including Pearson correlation coefficient, and multiple linear regression. The result showed that there were significant positive relationships between the psychological needs, autonomy, competence and social, academic, emotional adjustment and self-discovery. Moreover, there were significant positive relationships between mastery goal achievement, social, academic and emotional adjustment, attachment to the field of study or the university and self-discovery. In addition, there was a positive relationship between approach-performance achievement and attachment to the field and the university. The results also showed that none of the dimensions of psychological needs and achievement goals could explain the students’ adjustment.


Alt, D., & Geiger, B. (2012). Goal orientations and tendency to neutralize academic cheating: An ecological perspective. Psychological Studies57(4), 404-416. DOI 10.1007/s12646-012-0161-y.
Ames, C. (1992). Classrooms: Goals, structures, and student motivation. Journal of educational psychology84(3), 261.

Anderson, J.R. Guan. Y., & Koc. (2016).The academic adjustment scale: Measuring the adjustment of permanent resident or sojourner students. International Journal of Intercultural Relations. 54.68-76.

Ayuningtyas, F., Hartati, S., & Sumadi, T. (2019). The Impact of academic press and student teacher relationship on childrens emotional adjustment. Jurnal Obsesi: Jurnal Pendidikan Anak Usia Dini3(1), 91-101.
Baker, R. W., & Siryk, B. (1989). Manual for student adaptation to college questionnaire. Los Angeles: Western Psychological Services. DOI: 10.12691/rpbs-3-2-1.
Baumeister, R. F., & Leary, M. R. (1995). The need to belong: desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation. Psychological bulletin117(3), 497.
Clinciu.A.I.,  & Cazan.A.M.(2014). Academic Adjustment Questionnaire for the university students. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences. 127 , 655 – 660. DOI: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.03.330
Curelaru, V., Muntele-Hendreș, D., Diac, G., & Duca, D. S. (2020). Children's and mothers' achievement goal orientations and self-efficacy: Dyadic Contributions to Students' Well-Being. Sustainability12(5), 1785.
Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1985).  Intrinsic motivation and self-determination in human behavior. New York: Plenum.
Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well being. American Psychologist, 55, 68–78. DOI: 10.1037110003-066X.55.1.68
Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2017). Self-determination theory: Basic psychological needs in motivation, development, and wellness. Guilford Publications.
Deci, E. L., La Guardia, J. G., Moller, A. C., Scheiner, M. J., & Ryan, R. M. (2006). On the benefits of giving as well as receiving autonomy support: Mutuality in close friendships. Personality and social psychology bulletin32(3), 313-327. DOI: 10.1177/0146167205282148
Duchesne.S. Larose, S. (2018).Academic competence and achievement goals: Self-pressure and disruptive behaviors as mediators. Learning and Individual Differences. 68, 41–50.
Dweck, C.S. (2000). Self-theories: Their role in motivation, personality and development. Philadelphia: Psychology Press.
Elliot, A. J., & McGregor, H. A. (2001). A 2 ×2 achievement goal framework. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 80, 501–519. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.80.3.501
Elliot, A. J., & Thrash, T. M. (2002). Approach-avoidance motivation in personality: approach and avoidance temperaments and goals. Journal of personality and social psychology82(5), 804. DOI: 10.1037//0022-3514.82.5.804
Farahbakhsh. K. (2011). Preparation of Student Adjustment scale , and determining its reliability, validity and determining the norm, Journal of Measurement, 6(2), 24-45.
Friedlander, L. J., Reid, G. J., Shupak, N., & Cribbie, R. (2007). Social support, self-esteem, and stress as predictors of adjustment to university among first-year undergraduates. Journal of college student development48(3), 259-274.
Gonida, E. N., Voulala, K., & Kiosseoglou, G. (2009). Students' achievement goal orientations and their behavioral and emotional engagement: Co-examining the role of perceived school goal structures and parent goals during adolescence. Learning and Individual differences19(1), 53-60. DOI: 10.1016/j.lindif.2008.04.002
Hayamizu, T. (1997). Between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.Japanese Psychological Research, 39, 98-108.
Lee, M. Y., Wang, H. S., & Chen, C. J. (2019). Development and validation of the social adjustment scale for adolescents with Tourette syndrome in Taiwan. Journal of pediatric nursing.51, 13-20.
Liran, B. H., & Miller, P. (2019). The role of psychological capital in academic adjustment among university students. Journal of Happiness Studies20(1), 51-65. DOI: 10.1007/s10902-017-9933-3
Mancini, A. D. (2008). Self-determination theory: A framework for the recovery paradigm. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment14(5), 358-365. doi: 10.1192/apt.bp.107.004036
Midgley, C., & Urdan, T. (2001). Academic self-handicapping and achievement goals: A further examination. Contemporary educational psychology26(1), 61-75.
Midgley, C., Kaplan, A., Middleton, M., Maehr, M.L., Urdan, T., Anderman, L.,  Anderman, E., & Roeser R.(1998). The development and validation of scales assessing students’ achievement goal orientations. Contemporary Educational Psychology. 23, 113-131.
Midgley, C.,Arunkumar. R., & Urdan T. (1996). If I don't do well tomorrow, there'sa reason: Predictors of adolescents' use of academic self-handicapping behavior.Journal of Educational Psychology.88, 423–434.
Pahljina-Reinic, R., & Kukic, M. (2015). Ciljne orijentacije studenata i prilagodba na studij. Psychological Topics24(3), 543.
Pekrun, R., Elliot, A. J., & Maier, M. A. (2009). Achievement goals and achievement emotions: Testing a model of their joint relations with academic performance. Journal of educational Psychology101(1), 115.
Pintrich, P. R., Conley, A. M., & Kempler, T. M. (2003). Current issues in achievement goal theory and research. International Journal of Educational Research39(4-5), 319-337. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijer.2004.06.002
Raižienė, S., Gabrialavičiūtė, I., & Garckija, R. (2017). Links between basic psychological need satisfaction and school adjustment: A person-oriented approach. Journal of Psychological and Educational Research25(1), 82.
Rand, K. L. (2009). Hope and optimism: Latent structures and influences on grade expectancy and academic performance. Journal of personality77(1), 231-260.
Ratcliff, J. L. (1991). Drop-out prevention and at-risk college students. In L. L. West (Ed.), Effective strategies for dropout prevention of at-risk youth (pp. 251-282). Gaithersburg, M. D.: Aspen Publishers Inc.
Salami, S. O. (2011). Psychosocial predictors of adjustment among first year college of education students. US-China Education Review, 8(2), 239-248.
 Schunk, D. H. (2008). Metacognition, self-regulation, and self-regulated learning: Research recommendations. Educational Psychology Review, 20(4), 463-467.
Sideridis, G. D. (2005). Goal orientation, academic achievement, and depression: evidence in favor of a revised goal theory framework. Journal of educational psychology97(3), 366.
Sorić, I., Penezić, Z., & Burić, I. (2017). The Big Five personality traits, goal orientations, and academic achievement. Learning and Individual Differences54, 126-134. DOI: 10.1016/j.lindif.2017.01.024
Viorel .M.I.H., Codruta. M.I.H. Viorel. D. (2015). Achievement goals and behavioral and emotional engagement as Pprecursors of academic adjusting. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences. 209 , 329 – 336. DOI: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.11.243
Wang, C. J., Biddle, S. J., & Elliot, A. J. (2007). The 2× 2 achievement goal framework in a physical education context. Psychology of sport and exercise8(2), 147-168.
Yüksel, A., Öz, F., (2018). The evaluation of the psychoeducation program's effectiveness based on problem solving about nursing students' adaptation to the university. The Journal of International Lingual, Social and Educational.4 (2), 242–262.