Student Motivation Associated With Fitness Testing in the Physical Education Context

in Journal of Teaching in Physical Education
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  • 1 University of Jyväskylä
  • | 2 University of Memphis
  • | 3 Victoria University
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The purpose of the study was to analyze students’ motivation in relation to their participation in fitness testing classes. Participants were 134 Finnish Grade 5 and 8 students. Students completed the contextual motivation and perceived physical competence scales before the fitness testing class and the situational motivation questionnaire immediately after the class. During the fitness test class, abdominal muscle endurance was measured by curl-up test, lower body explosive strength and locomotor skills by the five leaps test, and speed and agility by the Figure 8 running test. For the fitness testing class, students reported higher scores for intrinsic motivation, identified motivation, and amotivation than in their general physical education program. The result of the path analysis showed physical fitness was positively related to perceived physical competence. In addition, perceived competence was found to be a positive predictor of situational intrinsic motivation, but not of other forms of situational motivation. Significant path coefficients in the model ranged from −.15 to .26.

Jaakkola, Sääkslahti, Manninen, and Liukkonen are with the Department of Sport Sciences, University of Jyvaskyla, Jyväskylä, Finland. Yli-Piipari is with the Department of Health and Sport Sciences, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN. Watt is with the School of Education and for Aging, Rehabilitation, Exercise, and Sport Science, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia.