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Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2006 Mar;32(3):313-27.

On the benefits of giving as well as receiving autonomy support: mutuality in close friendships.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627, USA.


Two studies examined autonomy support within close friendships. The first showed that receiving autonomy support from a friend predicted the recipient's need satisfaction within the relationship and relationship quality as indexed by emotional reliance, security of attachment, dyadic adjustment, and inclusion of friend in self and that there was significant mutuality of receiving autonomy support and of each other variable. The relations of perceived autonomy support to need satisfaction and relationship quality held for both female-female and male-male pairs across the two studies. The second study replicated and extended the first, showing that receiving autonomy support also predicted psychological health. Furthermore, giving autonomy support to a friend predicted the givers' experience of relationship quality over and above the effects of receiving autonomy support from the friend. When both receiving and giving autonomy support competed for variance in predicting well-being, giving, rather than receiving, autonomy support was the stronger predictor.

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