Self-determination theorists (SDT) argue that the satisfaction of the need for relatedness is essential for growth and well-being. However, the current research has yet to account for the unique ways in which adolescent males engage in behaviors to fulfill their need for relatedness within their peer groups. This qualitative study investigates relatedness in six 16-to 17-year-old adolescent males. Independent observations of videotape data and a collaborative analysis revealed 13 main indicators of moment-to-moment relatedness. These indicators include expressing belonging, referring to shared experiences, and helping others out. The indicators of relatedness are discussed in the context of SDT, and additional theoretical frameworks provide an integrative understanding of the construct. Implications for research on the need for relatedness across diverse settings and populations are discussed and the utility of the indicators for professionals who work with adolescent males is considered.


Adolescence, Males, Relatedness, Groups, Qualitative Description

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.




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