Scientific publication: an online programme to promote need satisfaction during the COVID-19 pandemic

Joachim WaterschootUncategorized


The COVID-19 pandemic threatens not only the physical health of individuals, but also their mental health. Self-determination theory assumes that the satisfaction of basic psychological needs for autonomy, relatedness and competence promotes psychological well-being in destabilising times. Yet the pandemic has severely hampered the ability of individuals to meet their needs. The current study provides a first test of the effectiveness of a 7-session online programme, LifeCraft, which promotes proactive attempts by individuals to improve their need-based experiences (i.e., need crafting). In addition to effects on individuals' need crafting skills, we examined programme effects on adults' need-based experiences and mental health and examined the role of participants' engagement in the programme.

An experimental study was conducted on 725 Belgian adults [Mage = 51.67 (range = 26 - 85); 68.55% female], with an experimental condition of 252 and a control condition of 473 participants. At the overall sample level, there was limited evidence of programme effectiveness. There were only small immediate programme effects on need crafting and well-being. After taking into account the role of programme engagement, the findings showed that the programme was more beneficial for participants who actively participated, with these participants reporting immediate and stable increases in needs, needs satisfaction and well-being, and decreases in needs frustration. Furthermore, changes in need formation were found to be fully correlated with changes in need experiences and well-being. The findings provide the first evidence of the effectiveness of LifeCraft during the COVID-19 pandemic, where active participation is a prerequisite for the programme to be effective.

Laporte N., van den Bogaard, D., Brenning, K., Soenens, B., & Vansteenkiste, M. (2022). Testing an Online Program to Foster Need Crafting During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Current Psychology.