The Effects of Choice on the Motivation of Adolescent Girls in Physical Education

in Journal of Teaching in Physical Education
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This study examined the motivational responses of adolescent girls in the physical education setting to having choices of walking activities. Seventh and 8th grade girls (N = 1,110) in 42 intact physical education classes participated in this study. Classes were randomly assigned to choice (n = 21) and no-choice (n = 21) groups. Participants’ situational and contextual motivation was assessed using the Situational Motivation Scale (SIMS) and the Sport Motivation Scale for PE (SMSPE). The SIMS was administered every 3 days during the intervention. The SMSPE was administered as the pre- and posttest. Significant differences indicated that the choice group (a) was more intrinsically motivated, (b) had higher identified regulation, (c) experienced less external control, and (d) was less amotivated. Moderate to large effect sizes were noted. A significant difference in amotivation at the contextual level was noted. Results suggest that adolescent female PE students may be more motivated if given choices. The notion of emerging adult attitudes is presented and explored.

Keven A. Prusak is with the Dept. of Physical Education, 221 E RB, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602; his co-authors are with the Dept. of Exercise Science and Physical Education, Arizona State University, PO Box 870701, Tempe, AZ 85287-0701.