This study examined the relationship between college students’ perceptions of the motivational climate (i.e., caring, task- and ego-involving) in physical activity courses to their physical self-concept, hope, and happiness. Midwestern university undergraduates (N = 412), enrolled in group physical activity classes, completed the following measures: class climate, physical self-concept, hope, and happiness. Canonical correlation analysis revealed that students who perceived a caring, task-involving climate were more likely to report high physical self-concept, hope, and happiness. A gender comparison found that while perceptions of the ego-involving climate were significantly higher for males, the ego climate did not significantly contribute to the males’ canonical correlation. In addition, while physical self-concept was positively associated with climate for both genders, males were more likely to experience higher physical self-concept than females. Results suggest positive and supportive exercise environments may not only help individuals reap the physical benefits of exercise but also the psychological benefits.
Theresa C. Brown and Mary D. Fry are with the Health, Sport, & Exercise Science Department, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS. Theresa C. Brown is now with the Division of Student Affairs, University of Kansas.