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  • Author: Christopher Spray x
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Maria Kavussanu and Christopher M. Spray

This study examined the network of relationships among moral atmosphere, perceived performance motivational climate, and moral functioning of male youth football players. Participants were 325 footballers recruited from 24 teams of a youth football league. They responded to scenarios describing cheating and aggressive behaviors likely to occur during a football game by indicating their moral judgment, intention, and behavior, which represented moral functioning. The moral atmosphere of the team and participants’ perceptions of the team’s performance motivational climate were also measured. Structural equation modeling indicated that perceptions of an atmosphere condoning cheating and aggressive behaviors were associated with views that a performance motivational climate is salient in the team, while both moral atmosphere and perceived performance climate corresponded to low levels of moral functioning in football. The findings are discussed in terms of their implications for eliminating unsportsmanlike conduct from sport.

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Victoria Emily Warburton and Christopher Mark Spray

Purpose:

In light of the extensive empirical evidence that implicit theories have important motivational consequences for young people across a range of educational settings we seek to provide a summary of, and personal reflection on, implicit theory research and practice in physical education (PE).

Overview:

We first provide an introduction to the key constructs and theoretical propositions associated with implicit theories. We then include a brief summary of the research findings on ability beliefs in school PE, which we draw on to identify several key issues that we feel are crucial to furthering our understanding of this topic. We conclude by offering a number of ideas for future research and discuss the potential misinterpretation of implicit theories when applied to professional practice in PE.

Conclusions:

We argue that researchers need to address more nuanced questions around implicit theories to prevent this area of inquiry stalling. Moreover, we need to provide teachers with more specific recommendations to help them integrate theory and research into practice.

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Victoria E. Warburton and Christopher M. Spray

The purpose of this study was to examine the temporal pattern of pupils’ approach-avoidance achievement goal adoption in physical education across Key Stage 3 of secondary school. Moreover, we determined the predictive utility of implicit theories of ability and perceived competence in explaining change in achievement goals, along with the moderating influence of pupils’ year group. On four occasions, over a 9-month period, 511 pupils in Years 7, 8, and 9 completed measures of perceived competence, incremental and entity beliefs, and approach-avoidance goals. Mastery-approach, mastery-avoidance, and performance-avoidance goals exhibited a linear decline over time, whereas performance-approach goals showed no significant change. Theoretical propositions regarding the antecedents of approach-avoidance goal adoption were supported. Year group was found to moderate a number of these antecedent-goal relationships. Results suggest that Year 7 is a critical time for adolescents’ motivation in school physical education.