This study examined the relationships among goal orientations, perceptions of the motivational climate, and perceived competence of children with movement difficulties in Grades 4 to 6. Participants were 65 children (23 boys and 42 girls) with movement difficulties and 111 children (45 boys and 66 girls) without movement difficulties. The latter group was used only in the preliminary analyses investigating validity and reliability of instruments for use in this study. Instruments included a measure of situationally specific perceived competence, a modified version of the Task and Ego Orientation in Sport Questionnaire (Duda, 1989), and a modified version of the Perceived Motivational Climate in Sport Questionnaire (Seifriz, Duda, & Chi, 1992). Results of structural equation modeling analysis generally supported the hypothesized model of relationships, based on Nicholls’ (1989) achievement goal theory. The findings suggest that physical education classes emphasizing a mastery motivational climate may result in higher perceived competence in children with movement difficulties.
Chantelle Zimmer and Janice Causgrove Dunn
Teachers can create supportive conditions in physical education to mitigate experiences of stress for children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD); however, most are unfamiliar with DCD and lack adequate training to instruct children with impairments. The purpose of this study was to explore teachers’ perceptions of and interactions in physical education with children thought to demonstrate functional difficulties associated with DCD. A semistructured interview was conducted with 12 teachers across all elementary years with diverse backgrounds and thematically analyzed. Four themes were produced. Teachers (a) had differing views on the etiology of children’s movement difficulties, though (b) all recognized a range of difficulties children demonstrated. They (c) believed it was their role to facilitate positive experiences for these children in physical education but (d) experienced challenges in doing so. Training that increases teachers’ knowledge of and abilities to address the needs of children thought to have DCD is warranted.
John G.H. Dunn and Janice Causgrove Dunn
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between goal orientations, perceptions of athletic aggression, and sportspersonship among elite male youth ice hockey players (M age = 13.08 years). Athletes (N = 171) completed questionnaires to assess their goal orientations, attitudes toward directing aggressive behaviors during competition, and non-aggression-related sportspersonship. In accordance with Vallerand, Deshaies, Cuerrier, Brière, and Pelletier (1996), sportspersonship was conceptualized as a five-dimensional construct. Multiple regression analyses revealed that high ego-oriented athletes were more inclined to approve of aggressive behaviors than those with low ego orientation. Players with higher levels of task orientation (rather than low task orientation) had higher sportspersonship levels on three dimensions. An analysis of goal orientation patterns revealed that regardless of ego orientation, low (compared to high) task orientation was more motivationally detrimental to several sportspersonship dimensions. The practical implications of these results are discussed in the context of Nicholls’s (1989) achievement goal theory.
Janice Causgrove Dunn and John G.H. Dunn
The main purpose of this study was to examine the relationships among perceived competence, perceived motivational climate, and participation behaviors of children with movement difficulties (MD) in physical education. Behaviors of 65 children with MD and 65 matched peers without MD from Grades 4-6 were observed and coded. A MANOVA revealed significant differences between the two groups in the proportions of adaptive and maladaptive behaviors. Hierarchical regression analyses indicated a tendency for participants with MD with higher self-reported perceptions of competence to spend proportionally more time engaged in adaptive behaviors and less time engaged in maladaptive behaviors. Significant interactions revealed that the effect of self-reported perceptions of a performance climate on participation was conditional upon perceived competence levels.
Donna L. Goodwin and Janice Causgrove Dunn
Janice L. Causgrove Dunn and E Jane. Watkinson
This study explored the relationship between perceived physical competence and physical awkwardness in an effort to gain further understanding of the effects of motor incompetence on behavior. Subjects included 195 children in Grades 3 through 6. Multiple regression analysis found that gender, the importance attached to physical competence, and the interaction between severity of awkwardness and grade were significant predictors of perceptions of physical competence. As expected, males reported higher perceptions of physical competence than females. In addition, the higher the rating that subjects attached to the importance of physical competence, the higher their perceptions of physical competence. Investigation of the interaction between severity of awkwardness and grade revealed that the expected decrease in perceptions of competence associated with increasing severity of awkwardness was present only in third-grade children. It is suggested that older awkward children may utilize strategies to maintain positive perceptions of competence and motivation.
Janice Causgrove Dunn and E. Jane Watkinson
This study investigated whether the TOMI (Stott, Moyes, & Henderson, 1984), a motor skills test recommended for the identification of children who are physically awkward (Sugden, 1985; Wall, Reid, & Paton, 1990), contains biased items. Findings of a study by Causgrove and Watkinson (1993) indicated that an unexpectedly high proportion of girls from Grades 3 to 6 were identified as physically awkward, and the authors suggested that the TOMI may be biased in favor of boys. In the present study, this suggestion was investigated through comparison of performances of TOMI subtest items by boys and girls from Grades 1 to 6. Chi-square analyses on each of the eight test items revealed significant performance differences between boys and girls on the two ball skills tasks of catching and throwing (p < .0001) at Age Bands 3 and 4; a significantly greater proportion of boys than girls age 9 to 12 years passed the catching and throwing tasks. A significant performance difference was also found on the tracing task at Age Band 1, with more girls passing tracing than boys. Implications for future research requiring the identification of children who are physically awkward are discussed.
John G.H. Dunn, Janice Causgrove Dunn, and Daniel G. Syrotuik
This study examined the relationship between perfectionism and goal orientations among male Canadian Football players (M age = 18.24 years). Athletes (N = 174) completed inventories to assess perfectionist orientations and goal orientations in sport. Perfectionism was conceptualized as a multidimensional construct and was measured with a newly constructed sport-specific version of the Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale (MPS; Frost, Marten, Lahart, & Rosenblate, 1990). Exploratory factor analysis of the modified MPS revealed four sport-related perfectionism dimensions: perceived parental pressure, personal standards, concern over mistakes, and perceived coach pressure. Canonical correlation analysis obtained two significant canonical functions (R C1 = .36; R C2 = .30). The first one revealed that task orientation was positively correlated with an adaptive profile of perfectionism. The second one revealed that ego orientation was positively associated with a maladaptive profile of perfectionism. Results are discussed in the context of Hamachek’s (1978) conceptualization of adaptive and maladaptive perfectionism.
Arya M. Sharma, Donna L. Goodwin, and Janice Causgrove Dunn
Dr. Arya M. Sharma challenges the conventional wisdom of relying simply on “lifestyle” approaches involving exercise, diet, and behavioral interventions for managing obesity, suggesting that people living with obesity should receive comprehensive medical interventions similar to the approach taken for other chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes or hypertension. He purports that the stigma-inducing focus on self-failing (e.g., coping through food, laziness, lack of self-regulation) does not address biological processes that make obesity a lifelong problem for which there is no easy solution. Interdisciplinary approaches to obesity are advocated, including that of adapted physical activity. Physical activity has multifaceted impacts beyond increasing caloric expenditure, including improved sleep, better mood, increased energy levels, enhanced self-esteem, reduced stress, and an enhanced sense of well-being. The interview with Dr. Sharma, transcribed from a keynote address delivered at the North American Adapted Physical Activity Symposium on September 22, 2016, in Edmonton, AB, Canada, outlines his rationale for approaching obesity as a chronic disease.
Chantelle Zimmer, Janice Causgrove Dunn, and Nicholas L. Holt
Children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) may experience stress in physical activity contexts due to emphasis on their poor motor skills. The purpose of this study was to explore the lived experiences of children at risk for DCD in physical education in order to develop a deeper understanding about what they experience as stress and how they cope with it. Using interpretative phenomenological analysis, six children in Grades 4–6 participated in two semistructured interviews. A motivational (and developmental) stress and coping theory informed interpretation of the three themes that described the children’s experiences: (a) they hurt me—psychological and physical harm sustained from peers, (b) it’s hard for me—difficulties encountered in activities, and (c) I have to—pressure to meet the teacher’s demands. Although the children at risk for DCD were confronted with various stressors in physical education, they coped more adaptively when social support was provided.