Exploring the role of basic-need satisfaction for sexting among Swedish adolescents: A self-determination theory perspective
This study explores the role of satisfaction of basic psychological needs for adolescents’ sexting, with an emphasis on how basic-need satisfaction relates to sexting for sexual purposes, instrumental/aggravated reasons and for body image reinforcement. The association between basic-need satisfaction and sexting frequency was also examined. In total, 366 Swedish adolescents enrolled in upper secondary school (Swedish gymnasium) completed an online survey. Basic-needs satisfaction was found to have no relation to sexting frequency. Multiple linear regressions showed small but significant relationships between basic-needs satisfaction and sexting for instrumental/aggravated reasons as well as for body image reinforcement, indicating that lower need satisfaction helped explain sexting for those motives. The strength of the relationships differed between boys and girls, highlighting sexting as a gendered phenomenon. This study contributes to a growing field of theoretically driven sexting research.