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Nikos Ntoumanis and Spiridoula Vazou

The influence of the peer group on young people’s achievement motivation has been highlighted in the literature as an area that needs examination (e.g., Harwood & Swain, 2001). To this effect, a new measure of youngsters’ perceptions of the peer motivational climate (Peer Motivational Climate in Youth Sport Questionnaire; PeerMCYSQ) was developed and tested across three studies. In Study 1, exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses (CFA) with 431 athletes between the ages of 11 to 16 years suggested that the PeerMCYSQ had 6 factors that could also be subsumed into 2 higher order factors (Task-Involving climate: improvement, relatedness support, effort; Ego-Involving climate: intra-team competition, normative ability, intra-team conflict). In Studies 2 and 3 the 6-factor solution and the corresponding hierarchical one were tested using CFA with two independent samples (N = 606 and 495, respectively) of similar age. The results showed that the 6-factor model was problematic and that a 5-factor solution should be preferred instead. Further support to the 5-factor model was provided with hierarchical and multilevel CFAs. Suggestions for further research on peer motivational climate are discussed.

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Maria Kavussanu and Nikos Ntoumanis

This study examined whether participation in contact sports influences moral functioning within the sport context, and whether these effects are mediated by ego orientation; the role of task orientation on moral functioning was also examined. Participants (N = 221) were college athletes participating in basketball, soccer, field hockey, and rugby. They completed questionnaires assessing sport participation, goal orientations, moral functioning, and social desirability. Structural equation modeling analysis indicated that participation in contact sports positively predicted ego orientation, which in turn predicted low levels of moral functioning. The direct effects of sport participation on moral functioning became nonsignificant in the presence of ego orientation, indicating that the latter construct mediates the relationship between the first two variables. Task orientation corresponded to high levels of moral functioning. These findings help us further understand the processes operating in contact sports and are discussed in terms of their implications for eliminating unsportspersonlike conduct from the sport context.

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Johan Y.Y. Ng, Cecilie Thøgersen-Ntoumani, and Nikos Ntoumanis

We examined motivation contagion in a hypothetical exercise setting. Exercise science students (n = 164) were provided with quotes of hypothetical male and female obese exercisers displaying different quality of motivation to start an exercise program. We used a 3 (exerciser motivation) × 2 (exerciser gender) × 2 (student gender) between-subjects experimental design to examine students’ (a) motivation to instruct, (b) interpersonal style, (c) perception of barrier efficacy of the exerciser, and (d) effort to identify factors that could maximize the effectiveness of an exercise program for the exerciser. Results showed that students displayed less controlled motivation and rated the exerciser as more capable of overcoming barriers to exercise when they perceived the exerciser to be autonomously motivated. However, students, particularly females, reported more autonomy support and invested more effort toward female exercisers with controlled motivation. Our findings indicate that motivation contagion effects are plausible in exercise settings and may affect interactions between fitness instructors and obese clients.

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Kimberley J. Bartholomew, Nikos Ntoumanis, and Cecilie Thøgersen-Ntoumani

This article outlines the development and initial validation of the Controlling Coach Behaviors Scale (CCBS), a multidimensional self-report measure designed to assess sports coaches’ controlling interpersonal style from the perspective of self-determination theory (Ryan & Deci, 2002). Study 1 generated a pool of items, based on past literature and feedback from coaches, athletes, and academic experts. The factorial structure of the questionnaire was tested using exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses across Studies 2 and 3. The final CCBS model in Study 3 comprised 4 factors (controlling use of rewards, conditional regard, intimidation, and excessive personal control) and was cross-validated using a third independent sample in Study 4. The scale demonstrated good content and factorial validity, as well as internal consistency and invariance across gender and sport type. Suggestions for its use in research pertaining to the darker side of coaching and sport participation are discussed.

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Ian M. Taylor, Nikos Ntoumanis, and Martyn Standage

Physical education teachers can influence students’ self-determination through the motivational strategies that they use. The current study examined how teachers’ reported use of three motivational strategies (providing a meaningful rationale, providing instrumental help and support, and gaining an understanding of the students) were predicted by perceived job pressure, perceptions of student self-determination, the teachers’ autonomous orientation, psychological need satisfaction, and self-determination to teach. Structural equation modeling supported a model in which perceived job pressure, perceptions of student self-determination, and teacher autonomous orientation predicted teacher psychological need satisfaction, which, in turn positively influenced teacher self-determination. The last positively predicted the use of all three strategies. Direct positive effects of teachers’ psychological need satisfaction on the strategies of gaining an understanding of students and instrumental help and support were also found. In summary, factors that influence teacher motivation may also indirectly affect their motivational strategies toward students.

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Alison Smith, Nikos Ntoumanis, and Joan Duda

Grounded in self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 1985) and the self-concordance model (Sheldon & Elliot, 1999), this study examined the motivational processes underlying goal striving in sport as well as the role of perceived coach autonomy support in the goal process. Structural equation modeling with a sample of 210 British athletes showed that autonomous goal motives positively predicted effort, which, in turn, predicted goal attainment. Goal attainment was positively linked to need satisfaction, which, in turn, predicted psychological well-being. Effort and need satisfaction were found to mediate the associations between autonomous motives and goal attainment and between attainment and well-being, respectively. Controlled motives negatively predicted well-being, and coach autonomy support positively predicted both autonomous motives and need satisfaction. Associations of autonomous motives with effort were not reducible to goal difficulty, goal specificity, or goal efficacy. These findings support the self-concordance model as a framework for further research on goal setting in sport.

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Nikos Ntoumanis, Anne-Marte Pensgaard, Chris Martin, and Katie Pipe

The purpose of this study was to provide an in-depth account of amotivation in compulsory school physical education by examining its major causes, the way it is displayed, and how it can be tackled. From an initial participant pool of 390 British schoolchildren ages 14 to 15 years, 21 of them (15 girls and 6 boys) were selected to participate in semi-structured interviews. They were categorized as being amotivated based on their responses to a questionnaire measuring motivation in physical education. Three main perceived causes of amotivation were identified in the interviews: learned helplessness beliefs, low need satisfaction, and contextual factors. Amotivation was mainly displayed by nonattendance, low involvement in the class, and low intention to be physically active after leaving school. Students’ suggestions for reducing amotivation focused on the enhancement of positive affect, need satisfaction, and structural/organizational changes. The findings are discussed in conjunction with contemporary motivation theories and models of amotivation.

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Martin J. Lee, Jean Whitehead, Nikos Ntoumanis, and Antonis Hatzigeorgiadis

This research examines the value-expressive function of attitudes and achievement goal theory in predicting moral attitudes. In Study 1, the Youth Sport Values Questionnaire (YSVQ; Lee, Whitehead, & Balchin, 2000) was modified to measure moral, competence, and status values. In Study 2, structural equation modeling on data from 549 competitors (317 males, 232 females) aged 12–15 years showed that moral and competence values predicted prosocial attitudes, whereas moral (negatively) and status values (positively) predicted antisocial attitudes. Competence and status values predicted task and ego orientation, respectively, and task and ego orientation partially mediated the effect of competence values on prosocial attitudes and of status values on antisocial attitudes, respectively. The role of sport values is discussed, and new research directions are proposed.

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Alison L. Smith, Nikos Ntoumanis, Joan L. Duda, and Maarten Vansteenkiste

Developing upon cross-sectional research (Smith, Ntoumanis, & Duda, 2007) supporting the self-concordance model (Sheldon & Elliot, 1999) as a framework for contextual goal striving, the current study investigated the assumptions of the model in relation to season-long goal striving in sport. The study additionally examined the role of coping strategies in the persistence of goal-directed effort. Structural equation modeling analysis with a sample of 97 British athletes indicated that start-of-season autonomous goal motives were linked to midseason effort, which subsequently predicted end-of-season goal attainment. Attainment was positively related to changes in psychological need satisfaction, which, in turn, predicted changes in emotional well-being. In a second model, autonomous and controlled motives positively predicted task- and disengagement-oriented coping strategies, respectively. In turn, these strategies were differentially associated with effort. The findings provide support for contextual adaptations of the self-concordance model and demonstrate the role of coping strategies in the goal striving process.

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Martyn Standage, Fiona B. Gillison, Nikos Ntoumanis, and Darren C. Treasure

A three-wave prospective design was used to assess a model of motivation guided by self-determination theory (Ryan & Deci, 2008) spanning the contexts of school physical education (PE) and exercise. The outcome variables examined were health-related quality of life (HRQoL), physical self-concept (PSC), and 4 days of objectively assessed estimates of activity. Secondary school students (n = 494) completed questionnaires at three separate time points and were familiarized with how to use a sealed pedometer. Results of structural equation modeling supported a model in which perceptions of autonomy support from a PE teacher positively predicted PE-related need satisfaction (autonomy, competence, and relatedness). Competence predicted PSC, whereas relatedness predicted HRQoL. Autonomy and competence positively predicted autonomous motivation toward PE, which in turn positively predicted autonomous motivation toward exercise (i.e., 4-day pedometer step count). Autonomous motivation toward exercise positively predicted step count, HRQoL, and PSC. Results of multisample structural equation modeling supported gender invariance. Suggestions for future work are discussed.