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The influence of autonomy support on self-regulatory processes and attrition in the Royal Dutch Navy

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Author: Delahaij, R. · Theunissen, N.C.M. · Six, C.
Source:Learning and Individual Differences, 30, 177-181
Identifier: 500215
doi: doi:10.1016/j.lindif.2013.11.003
Keywords: Defence · Attrition · Autonomy support · Self-determination theory · Training · Behavioural Changes Human Performances · HOI - Human Behaviour & Organisational Innovations TPI - Training & Performance Innovations · ELSS - Earth, Life and Social Sciences


The purpose of this study was to investigate the underlying mechanisms that explain the influence of instructor support on attrition levels within Navy basic military training. Based on self-determination theory, we hypothesized that higher autonomy support leads to lower intent to quit, mediated by self-efficacy and training value. Results from a group of trainees (N. = 208) confirmed that autonomy support negatively predicted intent to quit and that this relationship was mediated by self-efficacy. Training value did not mediate between autonomy support and intent to quit. In addition, logistic regression showed intent to quit predicted attrition. In conclusion, the application of self-determination theory provided new insights into the mechanisms underlying attrition in the military domain. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.