University of Sussex
Morgan, Lucy Gianna Fitzgerald.pdf (3.53 MB)

Professional caregiving and prosocial behaviour: an exploration within self-determination theory and beyond

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posted on 2023-06-09, 01:42 authored by Lucy Gianna Fitzgerald Morgan
Concerns have been raised about the quality of care provided by professional caregivers to vulnerable older adults. However, little is known about the psychological mechanisms that may affect professional caregivers’ ability to provide good care. This thesis presents four papers which sought to address this gap in our knowledge. The first paper reports a proposed quantitative multilevel study, investigating the effects of nursing home manager-level and care assistant-level variables on psychosocial caregiving among care assistants. There were no effects of manager-level variables. However, structural equation modelling (SEM) analyses found care assistants’ community aspirations and basic need satisfaction at work positively predicted the autonomy and relatedness support care assistants showed towards service users. No indirect effects were found. The second paper presents a new measure of autonomy, relatedness, and competence satisfaction, which had improved construct validity compared to an existing measure and good external validity, being related to measures of well-being and ill-being in expected ways. The third paper reports the relationships between autonomy, relatedness, and competence satisfaction and prosocial behaviour. SEM analyses showed that a higher order factor of basic need satisfaction explained a small but significant amount of variance in prosocial behaviour, but that autonomy, competence, and relatedness satisfaction were not independent predictors. The final paper presents a grounded theory analysis of semi-structured interviews with a range of individuals associated with nursing homes for the elderly. The findings highlight the role of a person-centred perspective at all levels of caregiving, with positive management practices interacting with the qualities and approaches of individual caregivers to support the provision of good care. Overall, this body of research provides a preliminary understanding of the interplay between the personal qualities of professional caregivers and socio-environmental factors in the provision of good care. In addition, it has contributed meaningfully to the SDT literature and its application to real-world settings. These findings pave the way for future research to provide further beneficial insights for policy and practice in professional caregiving.


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University of Sussex

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