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This study investigated the relationships among four distinct types of social goals, effort, and disruptive behavior in urban physical education. Social responsibility, affiliation, recognition, status goals, along with effort and disruptive behavior in physical education were reported by high school physical education students (N = 314) from three urban schools. Findings from correlation and structural equation modeling analyses revealed that social responsibility goals had a positive relationship with effort and an inverse relationship with disruptive behavior. Social status goals demonstrated a positive relationship with disruptive behavior and no relationship with effort. Social recognition goal results were mixed, as they had positive relationships to both effort and disruptive behavior while social affiliation goals were unrelated to effort or disruptive behavior. Application of these results suggests that physical educators who are able to identify the diverse social motives that underlie students’ goals can maximize learning opportunities by increasing student effort and minimizing disruptive behavior.
Garn is with Louisiana State University, Kinesiology, Baton Rouge, LA. McCaughtry, Shen, Martin, and Fahlman are with Wayne State University, Center for School Health and Division of Kinesiology, Health, & Sport Studies, Detroit, MI.