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Table 4 Self-Determination Theory constructs

From: ‘Listen and learn:’ participant input in program planning for a low-income urban population at cardiovascular risk

Construct Undermines this construct (quotes) Supports this construct (quotes)
Autonomy
Definition: The need to choose and pursue goals that are personally meaningful, rather than being given directive advice
“The doctor said, ‘Well you have to eat lettuce, tomato,’ whatever they got they call this stuff eating. But I want to be able to do that. The doctor say, ‘Do that.’ I want to do it. But then if I start, I start doing it, lettuce, tomato, all this type of stuff and eating this here. I’m not satisfied.”
“Then I got to understand that the doctor tells me, ‘You have to slow down on that greasy food.’ I’ve been doing this all my-- eating greasy food all my life.”
“I’m not supposed to have it, see. But I grew up on salt. Like, I like bacon and stuff like that. I try to calm down with it but I’m going in the refrigerator and getting it.”
“I’ve learnt to-- I’m learning that no, I love rice but then I prepare shredded vegetables with a lick of rice just to, ya know, trick myself. So I have a lick of rice but it’s more vegetables. It’s nice. I’ve done that 3 days now. Three days I have been doing that and I’m going to continue, and I do my own recipes, just invent.”
“But also, made a deal with myself actually to cook for myself, because I live alone, and I really, even if I only take 1 day a week to cook some meals.”
“..they have a farmer market here but I went there last summer and that, the prices was sky high. I went over to [name of supermarket], there’s was a little better but it still wasn’t enough variety in there for what I was looking for. So then that makes me go back to the sweets getting the cookies and the candies.”  
Competence
Definition: The ability to complete tasks successfully
“I know good food with the right way to eat, it’s just a question of being too-- I don’t know, um, depressed or do whatever to get started with it all.”
“I’m suffering from pretty severe chronic depression even with medication, so it’s really getting motivated to get up and get out.”
“I can block out the negative. I’ve learned how to do that.”
“When I get next to greens and plants and vegetables, I start feeling a little bit concerned and overwhelmed. I haven’t really figured out why.” “I once thought that I couldn’t really eat without some meat on my plate. But now, I find that I don’t even want meat.”
Relatedness
Definition: Feeling connected to others; a sense of belonging
“I know what good eating is, but I’ll tell you what, since I’ve been living alone, I would, if I don’t cook for friends and give the food away and keep some for myself, I don’t cook healthy.” “Because it will motivate me more if I have somebody that’s, one or two persons, so you can, if you’re interested you can take my number, call me any day. Yes.”
“She walks the boards, so she grab me and say, ‘Let’s walk.’”
“Living alone sometimes is stressful.” “... cause she likes to just stay home all day and stay in bed all day and watch - she’s just out of everything, but she has started because I told her, ya know, like, ‘Start getting up, just walking around the block, talk to your next-door neighbor, go to—’ So now, she likes to go to Walmart and watch the people she says.”
“Like they might give [name] one drug, give to her this drug and I say ‘I can’t take that’ but that’s what they order for everybody but I’m not everybody. My body don’t react well to this. Or they say ‘Your blood pressure should norm should be 102 over 56... I said it might be good according to the chart but it doesn’t make me feel good.”
“Because anything and everything that you eat you got to literally monitor and when you tell your doctor, they don’t want to hear nothing about it. Now a person like me had to come here and tell ya’ll about that.”
“A doctor that actually cares.”
“Listen and learn, listen and learn.”
  1. Note. Bolding added by authors for emphasis