A Multilevel Approach to Motivational Climate in Physical Education and Sport Settings: An Individual or a Group Level Construct?

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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Motivational climate is inherently a group-level construct so that longitudinal, multilevel designs are needed to evaluate its effects on subsequent outcomes. Based on a large sample of physical education classes (2,786 students, 200 classes, 67 teachers), we evaluated the effects of classroom motivational climate (task-involving and ego-involving) and individual goal orientations (task and ego) on individual students’ outcomes (intrinsic motivation, attitudes, physical self-concept, and exercise intentions) collected early (T1) and late (T2) in the school year. Using a multilevel approach, we found significant class-average differences in motivational climate at T1 that had positive effects on T2 outcomes after controlling T1 outcomes. Although there was no support for a “compatibility hypothesis” (e.g., that task oriented students were more benefited by task-involving motivation climates), the stability of goal orientations was undermined by incompatible climates.

Dept. of Physical Education & Sport Science, Democritus University of Thrace, Komotini 69100, Greece

SELF Research Center, University of Western Sydney, Bankstown Campus, Penrith South DC, NSW 1797, Australia

Dept. of Physical Education & Sport Science, University of Thessaly, Trikala 42100, Greece.

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