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Multi-hop communication systems have been widely studied and many of them are based on the IEEE 802.11 WLAN system. The paper explains the problem of throughput degradation of a relay station when IEEE 802.11 DCF is adopted in multi-hop communications. The relay stations lose some of their capacity compared to stations that are not relaying the data of other stations. Because all stations, under the CSMA/CA protocol, have equal transmission opportunity, the relay stations have to send packets from other terminals. We propose an autonomous priority control method that changes the contention window size depending on the number of relay stations and the number of hops to ensure that relay stations are offered the same transmission capacity as regular stations in the service area. Then its performance is evaluated by computer simulations.