The self-determination theory claims that three basic needs (autonomy, relatedness, and competency) guide the human motivation. This theory serves as background for many psychological instruments. However, no one differentiates the students’ occurrence perceptions and students’ values about the basic needs. The School Aspirations Questionnaire has this goal, but its structural validity was not investigated yet. The present study evaluated the structural validity of the questionnaire. The sample was composed by 716 middle and high school students from a private school in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. A model was tested. This model possessed eight correlated latent variables representing, in terms of values and occurrence perceptions, the three basic needs and the immediate pleasure domain. The model showed good data fit, permitting the conclusion that the questionnaire is capable of distinguishing in the school context the values and the occurrence perceptions about the basic needs, as well the immediate pleasure domain.
validity; psychological instrument; self-determination theory; perceptions; values