Research illustrates the positive roles of perceived competence, autonomy, and mastery climate and the negative role of performance climate in student motivation in physical education. Less research has examined perceptions of relationships within this setting (i.e., perceived teacher support and relatedness) and their role in student motivation. The purpose of this study was to test the mediating roles of perceived competence, autonomy, and relatedness in the relationship between social contextual factors and motivation in physical education students (N = 508). Results from structural equation modeling showed that perceived competence, autonomy, and relatedness partially mediated the relationship between perceived teacher support and self-determined motivation and that mastery climate related directly to self-determined motivation. The results highlight the importance of perceived teacher support, mastery climate, and relatedness to motivation in physical education.
Cox is with Kinesiology & Recreation, Illinois State University, Normal, IL, and Williams is with Sport Studies, Guilford College, Greensboro, NC.