This study provides a succinct overview of the Self-Determination Theory (SDT), formulated in 1985 by Edward Deci and Richard Ryan. Their empirical inquiries have substantiated that we manifest self-motivation when our three fundamental psychological needs—autonomy, competence, and connection or relatedness—are adequately fulfilled. This study aspired to assess the degree of self-determination among first-year students pursuing the Social Assistance profile within the Faculty of Letters, by employing a questionnaire administered to 51 participants.
The reliabilities of the questionnaire were satisfactory, and the research disclosed that, for the majority of students, the strongest predictors were autonomy, and relatedness than competences.
Keywords: Self-determination theory, autonomy suport, competence, connection or relatedness, academic motivation, university dropout