Predictive Strengths of Basic Psychological Needs in Physical Education Among Hispanic Children: A Gender-Based Approach

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Purpose: Based on the self-determination theory, this study explored the predictive strengths and relative importance of basic psychological needs (BPNs; i.e., autonomy, competence, and relatedness) in physical education in physical, cognitive, and psychological outcomes among Hispanic boys and girls. Methods: Fourth- and fifth-grade Hispanic children (N = 214; 110 boys and 104 girls) completed surveys measuring BPNs, effort in physical education, and general well-being and objective assessments of cardiorespiratory fitness and body mass index. Multiple regression analyses were performed on the three adaptive outcomes by gender to determine the relative importance of BPNs. Results: The analyses revealed that (a) competence was the most important BPN in predicting effort and well-being among both boys and girls; (b) relatedness predicted only well-being among boys, but both effort and well-being among girls; and (c) autonomy did not predict any outcomes. Conclusions: The findings highlight the importance of satisfying Hispanic children’s competence and girls’ relatedness in physical education.

Chu is with the Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin–Green Bay, Green Bay, WI. T. Zhang and Thomas (Retired) are with the Department of Kinesiology, Health Promotion, and Recreation, University of North Texas, Denton, TX. X. Zhang and Gu are with the Department of Kinesiology, The University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX.

Address author correspondence to Tsz Lun (Alan) Chu at chua@uwgb.edu.
Journal of Teaching in Physical Education
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