Influence of Internal and External Controlling Teaching Behaviors on Students’ Motivational Outcomes in Physical Education: Is There a Gender Difference?

in Journal of Teaching in Physical Education

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Ángel AbósEFYPAF “Physical Education and Physical Activity Promotion” Research Group, Faculty of Social and Human Sciences, University of Zaragoza, Teruel, Spain

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Rafael BurgueñoFaculty of Health Sciences, Universidad Isabel I, Burgos, Spain,
Department of Physical Education and Sport, Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Granada, Granada, Spain

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Luis García-GonzálezEFYPAF “Physical Education and Physical Activity Promotion” Research Group, Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences, University of Zaragoza, Huesca, Spain

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Javier Sevil-SerranoEFYPAF “Physical Education and Physical Activity Promotion” Research Group, Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences, University of Zaragoza, Huesca, Spain

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Purpose: Grounded in self-determination theory, this study examined gender latent mean differences in students’ perceptions of externally and internally controlling teaching behaviors, basic psychological need frustration, controlled motivation, amotivation, and oppositional defiance in the physical education context. Moreover, it analyzed the differentiated role that internal and external controlling behaviors play on these self-determination theory-related variables among girls and boys. Method: A sample of 1,118 students (Mage = 14.11 ± 1.50; 50.9% girls) participated in this research. A multigroup structural equation modeling approach was used to respond to the research questions. Results: Analyses revealed that girls reported more maladaptive outcomes in most self-determination theory-related variables than boys. Although externally and internally controlling behaviors of physical education teachers were positively related to maladaptive outcomes, the behaviors correlate differently between boys and girls. Conclusion: Findings highlight the importance of reducing externally controlling behaviors in boys and internally controlling behaviors in both genders, but particularly in girls.

Abós (aabosc@unizar.es) is corresponding author.

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