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Do People Differentiate Between Intrinsic and Extrinsic Goals for Physical Activity?

Sarah McLachlan and Martin S. Hagger

The distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic goals, and between goal pursuit for intrinsically and extrinsically motivated reasons, is a central premise of self-determination theory. Proponents of the theory have proposed that the pursuit of intrinsic goals and intrinsically motivated goal striving each predict adaptive psychological and behavioral outcomes relative to the pursuit of extrinsic goals and extrinsically motivated goal striving. Despite evidence to support these predictions, research has not explored whether individuals naturally differentiate between intrinsic and extrinsic goals. Two studies tested whether people make this differentiation when recalling goals for leisure-time physical activity. Using memory-recall methods, participants in Study 1 were asked to freely generate physical activity goals. A subsample (N = 43) was asked to code their freely generated goals as intrinsic or extrinsic. In Study 2, participants were asked to recall intrinsic and extrinsic goals after making a decision regarding their future physical activity. Results of these studies revealed that individuals’ goal generation and recall exhibited significant clustering by goal type. Participants encountered some difficulties when explicitly coding goals. Findings support self-determination theory and indicate that individuals discriminate between intrinsic and extrinsic goals.

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Transcontextual Development of Motivation in Sport Injury Prevention Among Elite Athletes

Derwin King-Chung Chan and Martin S. Hagger

The present study investigated the transcontextual process of motivation in sport injury prevention. We examined whether general causality orientation, perceived autonomy support from coaches (PAS), self-determined motivation (SD-Mtv), and basic need satisfaction in a sport context predicted SD-Mtv, beliefs, and adherence with respect to sport injury prevention. Elite athletes (N = 533) completed self-report measures of the predictors (Week 1) and the dependent variables (Week 2). Variance-based structural equation modeling supported hypotheses: SD-Mtv in a sport context was significantly predicted by PAS and basic need satisfaction and was positively associated with SD-Mtv for sport injury prevention when controlling for general causality orientation. SD-Mtv for sport injury prevention was a significant predictor of adherence to injury-preventive behaviors and beliefs regarding safety in sport. In conclusion, the transcontextual mechanism of motivation may explain the process by which distal motivational factors in sport direct the formation of proximal motivation, beliefs, and behaviors of sport injury prevention.

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Determinants of Virtual Exercise Equipment Use: An Integrated Model Investigation

Navin Kaushal, Kathy Berlin, and Martin S. Hagger

Background: Given the limited research on behavioral determinants of using virtual exercise machines to engage in exercise during the COVID-19 pandemic, this study applied an integrated behavior change model to identify behavioral determinants using these machines. Method: Adult owners of livestreaming virtual exercise equipment (N = 123) completed measures of social cognition, planning, motivation, virtual exercise machine features, and sociostructural variables at an initial occasion (T1) and 4 weeks later (T2). Hypothesized relations among model constructs were tested using a cross-lagged structural equation model with past behavior and sociostructural variables as covariates. Results: Autonomous motivation predicted intentions and habit indirectly via attitudes and perceived behavioral control at T1; virtual exercise machine features predicted intention and habit indirectly via social cognition constructs at T1; and intention and habit at T1 predicted exercise behavior at T2. Conclusions: This study supports social cognition constructs and virtual features as predictors of exercise using virtual exercise machines.

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Effects of a Brief Intervention Based on the Theory of Planned Behavior on Leisure-Time Physical Activity Participation

Nikos L.D. Chatzisarantis and Martin S. Hagger

Two persuasive communications were developed to assess the utility of an intervention based on the Theory of Planned Behavior in promoting physical activity attitudes, intentions, and behavior. One persuasive communication targeted modal salient behavioral beliefs (salient belief condition) while the other persuasive communication targeted nonsalient behavioral beliefs (nonsalient belief condition). Results of an intervention study conducted on young people (N = 83, mean age 14.60 yrs, SD = .47) indicated that participants who were presented with the persuasive message targeting modal salient behavioral beliefs reported more positive attitudes (p < .05) and stronger intentions (p = .059) than those presented with the message targeting nonsalient behavioral beliefs. However, neither communication influenced physical activity participation (p > .05). Path analysis also indicated that the effects of the persuasive communication on intentions were mediated by attitudes and not by perceived behavioral control or subjective norms.

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A Meta-Analytic Review of the Theories of Reasoned Action and Planned Behavior in Physical Activity: Predictive Validity and the Contribution of Additional Variables

Martin S. Hagger, Nikos L.D. Chatzisarantis, and Stuart J.H. Biddle

The aim of the present study was to examine relations between behavior, intentions, attitudes, subjective norms, perceived behavioral control, self-efficacy, and past behavior across studies using the Theories of Reasoned Action (TRA) and Planned Behavior (TPB) in a physical activity context. Meta-analytic techniques were used to correct the correlations between the TRA/TPB constructs for statistical artifacts across 72 studies, and path analyses were conducted to examine the pattern of relationships among the variables. Results demonstrated that the TRA and TPB both exhibited good fit with the corrected correlation matrices, but the TPB accounted for more variance in physical activity intentions and behavior. In addition, self-efficacy explained unique variance in intention, and the inclusion of past behavior in the model resulted in the attenuation of the intention-behavior, attitude-intention, self-efficacy-intention, and self-efficacy-behavior relationships. There was some evidence that the study relationships were moderated by attitude-intention strength and age, but there was a lack of homogeneity in the moderator groups. It was concluded that the major relationships of the TRA/TPB were supported in this quantitative integration of the physical activity literature, and the inclusion of self-efficacy and past behavior are important additions to the model.

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Exploration of the Mechanisms of Change in Constructs From Self-Determination Theory and Quality of Life During a Multidisciplinary Family-Based Intervention for Overweight Adolescents

Ashley A. Fenner, Erin K. Howie, Leon M. Straker, and Martin S. Hagger

The current study explored whether a multidisciplinary family-based intervention underpinned by self-determination theory could enhance perceptions of parent need support, autonomous motivation, and quality of life in overweight and obese adolescents. Using a staggered-entry waitlist-period control design, adolescents (n = 56) were assessed at baseline and preintervention (within-participant control), immediately following intervention, and at 3, 6, and 12 month follow-ups. Parents were trained in need-supportive behaviors within the broader context of an 8-week multidisciplinary intervention attended jointly with adolescents. Following intervention, significant improvements were demonstrated in adolescent perceptions of parent need support, autonomous motivation, and quality of life, and changes were maintained at the 1-year follow-up. Mediation analyses revealed changes in perceptions of parent need support predicted changes in quality of life indirectly via changes in autonomous motivation. Findings suggest overweight and obese adolescents are likely to benefit from multidisciplinary family-based interventions that aim to train parents in need-supportive behaviors.

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Relations Between Autonomous Motivation and Leisure-Time Physical Activity Participation: The Mediating Role of Self-Regulation Techniques

Johanna Nurmi, Martin S. Hagger, Ari Haukkala, Vera Araújo-Soares, and Nelli Hankonen

This study tested the predictive validity of a multitheory process model in which the effect of autonomous motivation from self-determination theory on physical activity participation is mediated by the adoption of self-regulatory techniques based on control theory. Finnish adolescents (N = 411, aged 17–19) completed a prospective survey including validated measures of the predictors and physical activity, at baseline and after one month (N = 177). A subsample used an accelerometer to objectively measure physical activity and further validate the physical activity self-report assessment tool (n = 44). Autonomous motivation statistically significantly predicted action planning, coping planning, and self-monitoring. Coping planning and self-monitoringmediated the effect of autonomous motivation on physical activity, although self-monitoring was the most prominent. Controlled motivation had no effect on self-regulation techniques or physical activity. Developing interventions that support autonomous motivation for physical activity may foster increased engagement in self-regulation techniques and positively affect physical activity behavior.

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Students’ Tripartite Efficacy Beliefs in High School Physical Education: Within- and Cross-Domain Relations With Motivational Processes and Leisure-Time Physical Activity

Ben Jackson, Peter R. Whipp, K.L. Peter Chua, James A. Dimmock, and Martin S. Hagger

Within instructional settings, individuals form relational efficacy appraisals that complement their self-efficacy beliefs. In high school physical education (PE), for instance, students develop a level of confidence in their teacher’s capabilities, as well as estimating how confident they think their teacher is in their (i.e., the students’) ability. Grounded in existing transcontextual work, we examined the motivational pathways through which students’ relational efficacy and self-efficacy beliefs in PE were predictive of their leisure-time physical activity. Singaporean students (N = 990; age M = 13.95, SD = 1.02) completed instruments assessing efficacy beliefs, perceptions of teacher relatedness support, and autonomous motivation toward PE, and 2 weeks later they reported their motivation toward, and engagement in, leisure-time physical activity. Structural equation modeling revealed that students reported stronger other-efficacy and RISE beliefs when they felt that their teacher created a highly relatedness-supportive environment. In turn, their relational efficacy beliefs (a) supported their confidence in their own ability, (b) directly and indirectly predicted more autonomous motives for participation in PE, and (c) displayed prospective transcontextual effects in relation to leisure-time variables. By emphasizing the adaptive motivational effects associated with the tripartite constructs, these findings highlight novel pathways linking students’ efficacy perceptions with leisure-time outcomes.

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A Meta-Analysis of Perceived Locus of Causality in Exercise, Sport, and Physical Education Contexts

Nikos L.D. Chatzisarantis, Martin S. Hagger, Stuart J.H. Biddle, Brett Smith, and John C.K. Wang

The present article conducts a meta-analytic review of the research adopting the perceived locus of causality in the contexts of sport, exercise, and physical education. A literature search of published articles identified three main research foci: (a) the development of instruments that assess perceived locus of causality; (b) examination of the construct validity of perceived locus of causality by investigating the relevance of the self-determination continuum as well as by using antecedents (e.g., perceived competence) and outcomes (e.g., intentions); and (c) integration of Nicholls’ (1984) concepts of task and ego orientation with perceived locus of causality. A meta-analysis using 21 published articles supported the existence of a self-determination continuum from external regulation to introjection and identification. In addition, path analysis of corrected effect sizes supported the mediating effects of perceived locus of causality on the relationship between perceived competence and intentions. Results are discussed with reference to the assumptions of self-determination theory, Vallerand’s (1997) hierarchical model of intrinsic/extrinsic motivation, and theories of behavioral intentions.

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Response-Order Effects in Survey Methods: A Randomized Controlled Crossover Study in the Context of Sport Injury Prevention

Derwin K.C. Chan, Andreas Ivarsson, Andreas Stenling, Sophie X. Yang, Nikos L.D. Chatzisarantis, and Martin S. Hagger

Consistency tendency is characterized by the propensity for participants responding to subsequent items in a survey consistent with their responses to previous items. This method effect might contaminate the results of sport psychology surveys using cross-sectional design. We present a randomized controlled crossover study examining the effect of consistency tendency on the motivational pathway (i.e., autonomy support → autonomous motivation → intention) of self-determination theory in the context of sport injury prevention. Athletes from Sweden (N = 341) responded to the survey printed in either low interitem distance (IID; consistency tendency likely) or high IID (consistency tendency suppressed) on two separate occasions, with a one-week interim period. Participants were randomly allocated into two groups, and they received the survey of different IID at each occasion. Bayesian structural equation modeling showed that low IID condition had stronger parameter estimates than high IID condition, but the differences were not statistically significant.