Psychology Today: Why Self-Determination in Loving Relationships Is ImportantDecember 2, 2020 by Lemos Kelly

December 30 2019 // by Jeremy Nicholson M.S.W., Ph.D.

Psychology Today on how coercion can ruin trust, satisfaction, and commitment in relationships.

Research by Leak and Cooney (2001) noted that individuals that were securely attached in their relationship also felt more self-determined and had higher well-being. In contrast, those who felt anxious or avoidant in their relationship felt less self-determined and had lower well-being. This connection was explored in the reverse direction by Gaine and La Guardia (2009), as well. These authors noted that the more autonomy provided to an individual within a relationship, the less they avoided their partner. Also, the less an individual felt controlled by their partner, the less anxious and more secure they were in the relationship, too. Thus, even when individuals have pre-existing attachment issues, creating a relationship that promotes their self-determination may help them to feel more secure and increase their well-being.