Background. This study used self-determination theory to examine the intergenerational continuity of the social situation of development with a focus on what determines a woman's basic psychological need support for her child.
Objective. To assess the relationship between the basic need support a woman received from her own mother, the woman’s basic need support toward her own child, and the quality of the woman-child interaction.
Design. The scales, "Parent-child interaction" and "Basic Psychological Needs," were administered. Eighty-seven women (29-40 years old) with children age 4-5 years assessed the basic need support provided for them by their mother in childhood and at present, and her estimate of the basic need support she herself provides to her own child. Analyses included descriptive statistics, Wilcoxon signed-rank tests, factor analysis, and multiple linear regression.
Results. The ratio of levels of basic need support demonstrated continuity across generations. Intergenerational continuity in the child’s basic need support mainly concerns the needs for competence and relatedness: the more they were supported in childhood and are now supported by the woman's mother, the more the woman supports them in her own child today. Such continuity was not found for autonomy support. A woman’s own basic need support by her mother, in childhood and currently, and the woman’s provision of basic need support for her child predicted most of the woman-child interaction parameters.
Conclusion. Intergenerational continuity with respect to provision of basic need support was shown. The woman-child interaction was predicted by basic need support across intergenerational relations.
Keywords: Social situation of development/ parent-child interaction/ intergenerational continuity/ basic psychological needs/ basic need support/ self-determination theory (SDT)