A total of 119 female and 114 male children (N = 233) attending six elementary schools responded to a questionnaire on their perceptions of the motivational climate of their physical education class, beliefs about the causes of success, satisfaction, perceived ability, and attitude toward the class. Students who perceived a climate oriented toward high mastery/moderate performance reported a positive attitude toward the class, high perceived ability, the belief that effort and ability cause success, and feelings of satisfaction. In contrast, students who perceived a climate oriented toward high performance/low mastery focused on ability as a cause of success, reported a negative attitude toward the class, and feelings of boredom. The pattern and strength of the findings suggest that to increase the motivation of children, physical educators should look to promote mastery, and de-emphasize performance-oriented cues in the achievement setting.
Darren C. Treasure is with the Department of Health, Recreation, and Physical Education at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, Edwardsville, IL 62026-1126.