Spiritual satisfaction of basic psychological needs and psychological health

Maureen Miner*, Martin Dowson, Kim Malone

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


According to Self Determination Theory, psychological health and well-being depend on the satisfaction of basic psychological needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Significant others differentially contribute to the perceived satisfaction of basic psychological needs. God is a significant Other for Christians, but there is no published research investigating perceptions of God meeting basic psychological needs. This paper considers psychological and theological evidence concerning Christian perceptions that God could meet basic psychological needs. It reports evidence from a study of 225 Australian Christians testing the hypotheses that: (1) God will be perceived as meeting basic psychological needs uniquely in the context of significant others meeting needs, and (2) attributions to God meeting basic psychological needs will be negatively related to psychological ill-health. Results suggest that God is perceived as meeting basic psychological needs to a small but significant extent in the context of the effects of significant human figures. Further, lower symptoms of depression and stress are reported when God is perceived to meet needs for autonomy, competence and relatedness. The study provides preliminary evidence that God's perceived capacity to meet basic psychological has not only theoretical and theological interest, but also practical psychological interest as well.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)298-314
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Psychology and Theology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Spiritual satisfaction of basic psychological needs and psychological health'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this