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Cassandra Sparks, Chris Lonsdale, James Dimmock and Ben Jackson

Research grounded in self-determination theory has demonstrated the important role of teachers in shaping students’ physical education experiences. Utilizing a cluster-randomized controlled design, this study aimed to examine whether an interpersonally involving training program based on self-determination theory principles could enhance students’ in-class experiences. With 18 teachers (males = 8, females = 10, M age = 32.75, SD = 8.14) and a final sample of 382 students (males = 155, females = 227, M age = 13.20, SD = 1.66), we implemented linear mixed modeling to investigate the effects on students’ (a) perceived relatedness support and (b) enjoyment of physical education, tripartite efficacy beliefs (i.e., self-efficacy, other-efficacy, relation-inferred self-efficacy), self-determined motivation, and amotivation. Relative to those in the control condition, students in the treatment condition reported positive changes in teacher-provided relatedness support, enjoyment, other-efficacy, and peer-focused relation-inferred self-efficacy. These findings demonstrate support for strategies designed to aid physical education teachers’ relatedness-supportive instructional behaviors.

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Timothy C. Howle, James A. Dimmock, Nikos Ntoumanis, Nikos L.D. Chatzisarantis, Cassandra Sparks and Ben Jackson

We tested the effects of advertisements about a fictitious exercise class—derived using the theoretical constructs of agency and communion—on recipients’ perceptions about, and interest in, the class. The final sample consisted of 150 adults (M age = 44.69, SD = 15.83). Results revealed that participants who received a communal-oriented message reported significantly greater exercise task self-efficacy and more positive affective attitudes relative to those who received an agentic-oriented message. Communal (relative to agentic) messages were also indirectly responsible for greater intentions to attend the class, via more positive self-efficacy beliefs and affective attitudes. These findings were obtained despite the use of another manipulation to orient participants to either agency or communion goals. The results indicate that the primacy of communion over agency for message recipients may extend to exercise settings and may occur irrespective of whether participants are situationally oriented toward agency or communion.