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Ian M. Taylor and Chris Lonsdale

Using basic psychological needs theory (BPNT; Ryan & Deci, 2000) as our guiding framework, we explored cultural differences in the relationships among physical education students’ perceptions of teacher autonomy support, psychological need satisfaction, subjective vitality and effort in class. Seven hundred and fifteen students (age range from 13 to 15 years) from the U.K. and Hong Kong, China, completed a multisection inventory during a timetabled physical education class. Multilevel analyses revealed that the relationships among autonomy support, subjective vitality and effort were mediated by students’ perceptions of psychological need satisfaction. The relationship between autonomy support and perceptions of competence was stronger in the Chinese sample, compared with the U.K. sample. In addition, the relationship between perceptions of relatedness and effort was not significant in the Chinese students. The findings generally support the pan-cultural utility of BPNT and imply that a teacher-created autonomy supportive environment may promote positive student experiences in both cultures.

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Ruth Boat and Ian M. Taylor

The study explored patterns of change in a number of potentially performance-related variables (i.e., fatigue, social support, self-efficacy, autonomous motivation, mental skills) during the lead-up to a competitive triathlon, and whether these patterns of change differed for relatively superior versus inferior performers. Forty-two triathletes completed an inventory measuring the study variables every other day during a 2-week period leading up to competition. Performance was assessed using participants’ race time, and using a self-referenced relative score compared with personal best times. Multilevel growth curve analyses revealed significant differences in growth trajectories over the 2-week period in mental skills use, social support, and fatigue. The results provide novel insight into how athletes’ fluctuating psychological state in the 2 weeks before competition may be crucial in determining performance.

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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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Juliette Stebbings, Ian M. Taylor and Christopher M. Spray

The current study explored coaches’ interpersonal behaviors as a mechanism for well- and ill-being contagion from coach to athlete and vice versa. Eighty-two coach–athlete dyads from individual sports completed selfreport measures before and after a training session. Structural equation modeling supported three actor–partner interdependence mediation models, in which coaches’ presession well- and ill-being were associated with changes in athletes’ well- and ill-being over the course of the session. These relationships were mediated by athletes’ perceptions of their coaches’ interpersonal styles during the session. The reciprocal transfer from athlete to coach was not fully supported. Nonetheless, coaches’ perceptions of their own interpersonal behaviors were associated with changes in their postsession well- and ill-being. Overall, evidence is provided for the contagion of affect from authority figures to those under their instruction but not vice versa.

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Ian M. Taylor, Nikos Ntoumanis, Martyn Standage and Christopher M. Spray

Grounded in self-determination theory (SDT; Deci & Ryan, 2000), the current study explored whether physical education (PE) students’ psychological needs and their motivational regulations toward PE predicted mean differences and changes in effort in PE, exercise intentions, and leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) over the course of one UK school trimester. One hundred and seventy-eight students (69% male) aged between 11 and 16 years completed a multisection questionnaire at the beginning, middle, and end of a school trimester. Multilevel growth models revealed that students’ perceived competence and self-determined regulations were the most consistent predictors of the outcome variables at the within- and between-person levels. The results of this work add to the extant SDT-based literature by examining change in PE students’ motivational regulations and psychological needs, as well as underscoring the importance of disaggregating within- and between-student effects.

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Juliette Stebbings, Ian M. Taylor and Christopher M. Spray

Within the self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 2000) framework, research has considered the consequences of coaches’ autonomy supportive and controlling behaviors on various athlete outcomes (e.g., motivation and performance). The antecedents of such behaviors, however, have received little attention. Coaches (N = 443) from a variety of sports and competitive levels completed a self-report questionnaire to assess their psychological need satisfaction, well-being and perceived interpersonal behaviors toward their athletes. Structural equation modeling demonstrated that coaches’ competence and autonomy need satisfaction positively predicted their levels of psychological well-being, as indexed by positive affect and subjective vitality. In turn, coaches’ psychological well-being positively predicted their perceived autonomy support toward their athletes, and negatively predicted their perceived controlling behaviors. Overall, the results highlight the importance of coaching contexts that facilitate coaches’ psychological need satisfaction and well-being, thereby increasing the likelihood of adaptive coach interpersonal behavior toward athletes.

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Juliette Stebbings, Ian M. Taylor, Christopher M. Spray and Nikos Ntoumanis

Embedded in the self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 2000) framework, we obtained self-report data from 418 paid and voluntary coaches from a variety of sports and competitive levels with the aim of exploring potential antecedents of coaches’ perceived autonomy supportive and controlling behaviors. Controlling for socially desirable responses, structural equation modeling revealed that greater job security and opportunities for professional development, and lower work–life conflict were associated with psychological need satisfaction, which, in turn, was related to an adaptive process of psychological well-being and perceived autonomy support toward athletes. In contrast, higher work–life conflict and fewer opportunities for development were associated with a distinct maladaptive process of thwarted psychological needs, psychological ill-being, and perceived controlling interpersonal behavior. The results highlight how the coaching context may impact upon coaches’ psychological health and their interpersonal behavior toward athletes. Moreover, evidence is provided for the independence of adaptive and maladaptive processes within the self-determination theory paradigm.

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Ian M. Taylor, Christopher M. Spray and Natalie Pearson

The purpose of the study was to explore change in children’s physical self-concept and self-reported physical activity over a school transition period, as well as motivational and interpersonal influences on these two outcomes. Data were collected from 545 children (mean age = 10.82, SD = 0.39, 51% female) at three time points before and after the United Kingdom secondary school transition. Multilevel modeling revealed that physical self-concept and physical activity showed different patterns of decline over the course of the study. Changes in the extent to which physical education teachers were perceived to provide psychological need support, peer focus on self-referenced learning and mastery, and changes in autonomous motives toward physical education classes were positively associated with these outcome variables. The present study provides novel insight into important motivational and interpersonal factors that may need to be targeted to prevent negative developmental patterns over a potentially challenging period for children.

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Ben Jackson, Nicholas D. Myers, Ian M. Taylor and Mark R. Beauchamp

This study explored the predictive relationships between students’ (N = 516, M age = 18.48, SD = 3.52) tripartite efficacy beliefs and key outcomes in undergraduate physical activity classes. Students reported their relational efficacy perceptions (i.e., other-efficacy and relation-inferred self-efficacy, or RISE) with respect to their instructor before a class, and instruments measuring self-efficacy, enjoyment, and effort were administered separately following the class. The following week, an independent observer assessed student achievement. Latent variable path analyses that accounted for nesting within classes revealed (a) that students were more confident in their own ability when they reported favorable other-efficacy and RISE appraisals, (b) a number of direct and indirect pathways through which other-efficacy and RISE predicted adaptive in-class outcomes, and (c) that self-efficacy directly predicted enjoyment and effort, and indirectly predicted achievement. Although previous studies have examined isolated aspects within the tripartite framework, this represents the first investigation to test the full range of direct and indirect pathways associated with the entire model.