A sense of relatedness is individuals’ views about themselves as connected to others and worthy of love and respect from others. Using the Self-System Model of Motivational Development as the framework, this study was designed to examine associations of urban high-school girls’ relatedness toward teachers and peers with their behavioral and emotional engagements in physical education. Participants (N = 184, ages 15–18) completed questionnaires assessing relevant psychological and behavioral constructs while their teachers also completed corresponding measures during classes. Regression analyses revealed that relatedness toward teachers and peers had direct and interactive roles in both behavioral and emotional engagements. Although relatedness to teachers was the most pronounced predictor, feeling related to peers might have an added effect for the students who did not feel connected. The findings support that nurturing quality relationships between and among both teachers and peers may hold promise for enhancing learning.
Shen, McCaughtry, Martin, and Fahlman are with the Dept. of Kinesiology, Health and Sport Studies, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI. Garn is with the Dept. of Kinesiology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA.