A Person-Centered Approach in Physical Education to Better Understand Low-Motivation Students

in Journal of Teaching in Physical Education
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  • 1 Universidad Pontificia Comillas
  • 2 Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
  • 3 Universidad Miguel Hernández
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Purpose: This study seeks to offer a motivational sequence that explains the intention of physical activity among low-motivation students. Method: Participants included 1,872 students (Mage = 15.01, SDage = 0.83 years) from three countries. A cluster analysis (i.e., a person-centered approach) and a multigroup structural equation model (i.e., a dimensional approach) were used. Results: Three motivational profiles, namely, high motivation, high motivation with low ego, and low motivation–moderate task orientation were established. The model first tested, based on previous research findings, was found not to be invariant across the different profiles. The new model tested was determined to be suitable for the low-motivation profile. Discussion: The results revealed that widely accepted motivational sequences that explain the intention to be physically active in the future may be inapplicable for the least motivated students. The findings suggest that dispositional flow may play an important role in the engagement of low-motivation students in future physical activity.

Franco is with Universidad Pontificia Comillas, Madrid, Spain. Coterón is with the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Madrid, Spain. Huéscar and Moreno-Murcia are with Universidad Miguel Hernández, Elche, Spain.

Franco (efalvarez@comillas.edu) is the corresponding author.
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