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  • Author: Sarah Ullrich-French x
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Sarah Ullrich-French and Anne Cox

According to self-determination theory, motivation is multidimensional, with motivation regulations lying along a continuum of self-determination (Ryan & Deci, 2007). Accounting for the different types of motivation in physical activity research presents a challenge. This study used cluster analysis to identify motivation regulation profiles and examined their utility by testing profile differences in relative levels of self-determination (i.e., self-determination index), and theoretical antecedents (i.e., competence, autonomy, relatedness) and consequences (i.e., enjoyment, worry, effort, value, physical activity) of physical education motivation. Students (N = 386) in 6th- through 8th-grade physical education classes completed questionnaires of the variables listed above. Five profiles emerged, including average (n = 81), motivated (n = 82), self-determined (n = 91), low motivation (n = 73), and external (n = 59). Group difference analyses showed that students with greater levels of self-determined forms of motivation, regardless of non-self-determined motivation levels, reported the most adaptive physical education experiences.

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Shaina Riciputi, Meghan H. McDonough and Sarah Ullrich-French

Physical activity–based positive youth development (PYD) programs often aim to foster character development. This study examined youth perspectives of character development curricula and the impact these activities have on their lives within and beyond the program. This case study examined youth from low-income families in a physical activity–based summer PYD program that integrated one character concept (respect, caring, responsibility, trust) in each of 4 weeks. Participants (N = 24) included a cross section of age, gender, ethnicity, and past program experience. Semi-structured interviews were analyzed using inductive thematic analysis and constant comparative methods. Thirteen themes were grouped in four categories: building highquality reciprocal relationships; intrapersonal improvement; moral reasoning and understanding; and rejection, resistance, and compliance. The findings provide participant-centered guidance for understanding youth personal and social development through physical activity in ways that are meaningful to participants, which is particularly needed for youth in low-income communities with limited youth programming.

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Meghan H. McDonough, Catherine M. Sabiston and Sarah Ullrich-French

Physical activity experiences may contribute to psychological and social wellbeing among breast cancer survivors. The main purpose of the current study was to qualitatively explore the development of social relationships, social support, and posttraumatic growth among breast cancer survivors participating in a dragon boat program over 19 months. Guided by interpretative phenomenological analysis (Smith, Flowers, & Larkin, 2009), semistructured interviews were conducted with 17 breast cancer survivors on five occasions over their first two seasons of dragon boating. Narrative accounts were developed for each participant, and four profiles emerged describing processes of social and posttraumatic growth development over time: “developing a feisty spirit of survivorship,” “I don’t want it to be just about me,” “it’s not about the pink it’s about the paddling,” and “hard to get close.” Profiles were discussed in terms of developing social relationships and support, providing support to others, physicality and athleticism, and negative interactions and experiences.

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Alan L. Smith, Sarah Ullrich-French, Eddie Walker II and Kimberly S. Hurley

The purpose of this study was to (a) describe peer relationship profiles of youth sport participants and (b) assess the motivational salience of these profiles by examining profile group differences on sport motivation-related variables. Youth sport camp participants (N = 243) ages 10 to 14 years (M = 11.8, SD = 1.2) completed a multisection questionnaire that contained sport-contextualized measures of perceived friendship quality (positive, conflict), perceived peer acceptance, perceived competence, enjoyment, anxiety, self-presentational concerns, and self-determined motivation. The positive friendship quality, friendship conflict, and peer acceptance responses were cluster-analyzed, yielding five peer relationship profiles that were consistent with expectations based on previous research (i.e., Seidman et al., 1999). Profile differences were obtained for all motivation-related variables and were in theoretically consistent directions. Those young athletes categorized in more adaptive peer relationship profiles had more adaptive motivation-related responses. The findings support theoretical perspectives on social relationships and motivation as well as the efficacy of a person-centered approach to the examination of peer relationships in sport.