Caring Climate, Emotions, and Engagement in High School Physical Education

in Journal of Teaching in Physical Education

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Kelly L. SimontonThe University of Memphis

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Alex C. GarnLouisiana State University

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Nicholas WashburnWestern Washington University

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Purpose: This study evaluated relationships among students’ views of the caring climate, emotions, and engagement in high school physical education (PE) classes utilizing Control-Value Theory of Achievement Emotions. Method: Structural education modeling tested the direct and mediating roles of the caring climate and emotions on engagement in high school PE students (N = 638). Results: The caring climate predicted enjoyment (β = 0.45), boredom (β = −0.44), and shame (β = −0.31), while enjoyment (β = 0.71) and shame (β = 0.12) predicted student engagement, supporting Control-Value Theory of Achievement Emotions assumptions. However, caring climate also predicted student engagement directly, aligning with study hypotheses. Discussion/Conclusion: The findings suggest that a caring climate relates to student emotions and engagement in PE and supports the value of emotions in PE. This highlights the need for training high school PE teachers to facilitate a caring climate in the interest of maximizing optimal student emotions and engagement.

Simonton is with the College of Health Sciences, The University of Memphis, Memphis, TN, USA. Garn is with the School of Kinesiology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, USA. Washburn is with the Department of Health and Human Performance, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA, USA.

Simonton (kelly.simonton@memphis.edu) is corresponding author.
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