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Yannis Theodorakis

The aim of this study was to examine the attitude–exercise behavior relationship according to the theory of planned behavior. Two additional variables, multicomponent attitude strength and role identity, were constructed to expand the initial model. The participation of 395 females in physical fitness programs over a 2-month period served as a behavioral criterion. Attitudes toward behavior, perceived behavioral control, role identity, and attitude strength predicted intention to exercise. Also, exercise behavior was predicted from intention, perceived behavioral control, role identity, and attitude strength. Perceived behavioral control was a more accurate predictor of behavior than of intention. Results also showed that the planned behavior model was slightly more successful in predicting exercise behavior when attitude strength and role identity were added to the analysis. Findings are discussed in terms of theoretical and practical implications and in terms of the role of intention, perceived behavioral control, role identity, and attitude strength variables for understanding attitude–behavior relationships.

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Yannis Theodorakis

The present study tested the effects of self-efficacy, past performance, personal goal setting, and self-satisfaction on swimming performance. Participants (N = 42) performed four trials of a specific swimming task with 10-min intervals between each trial. During the third and fourth trials they performed trials after setting personal goals and completing self-efficacy and selfsatisfaction scales. Results showed significant improvement in level of performance in these two trials. Past performance, self-efficacy, self-satisfaction, and personal goal setting were predictors of performance at the third and the fourth trial. A LISREL VI path analysis indicated that past performance was the main determinant of future performance. Personal goal setting was affected by level of past performance, as well as by perceived self-efficacy and satisfaction. In a second stage of analysis, past performance was eliminated, and results supported the mediating role of personal goals between self-efficacy and performance.

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Stefanos Perkos, Yannis Theodorakis, and Stiliani Chroni

This study examined the effectiveness of instructional self-talk on acquiring and performing three basketball skills (dribbling, passing, and shooting). Sixty-two young, novice players were organized into two groups. The experimental group accompanied the practice of three specific drills with self-talk. The control group performed the same drills traditionally. Six assessment sessions were completed. Repeated measures MANOVAs showed that experimental group participants performed better than their control group counterparts when dribbling and passing. Experimental group participants and their coaches reported using self-talk more when passing and dribbling and less when shooting. In addition, experimental group participants achieved significantly better dribbling and passing scores (p < .05) between assessment sessions. These results support instructional self-talk as an effective tool for skill acquisition and performance enhancement of skills low in complexity.

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Yannis Theodorakis, Konstantinos Bagiatis, and Marios Goudas

The aim of this study was to examine attitudes and intentions of physical education students toward teaching individuals with disabilities. The planned behavior model and two exogenous variables (attitude strength and role identity) were used to examine antecedents of students’ intentions for teaching individuals with disabilities in the future. The sample consisted of 99 university students taking adapted physical education courses. Structural equation modeling analysis showed that the role identity and attitude strength variables mediated the effects of subjective norms and attitudes toward behavior on intention. Also, perceived behavioral control was not a direct determinant of intention but affected the attitude strength variable. Findings are discussed in terms of theoretical as well as practical implications for understanding attitude-behavior relationships in physical education for special populations. It seems that professionals’ intentions to work with individuals with disabilities are formed as part of their role identity in the society and are affected by professionals’ attitude confidence toward teaching individuals with disabilities.

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Yannis Theodorakis, Robert Weinberg, Petros Natsis, Irini Douma, and Panagiotis Kazakas

This study examined the effectiveness of different self-talk strategies on increasing performance in different motor tasks. Specifically, four laboratory experiments were conducted to examine the effect of motivational versus instructional self-talk strategies on four different tasks. Included in the experiments were a soccer accuracy lest, a badminton service test, a sit up test, and a knee extension task on an isokinetic dynamometer. Results of the first two experiments indicated that only the participants of the instructional group improved their performance significantly more than the motivational and control groups. Results of the third experiment indicated no significant differences between the three groups, although all groups showed improvements across trials. Results of the fourth experiment showed a significant improvement for both the motivational and instructional groups compared to the control group. It appears that when the task requires fine motor movements, an instructional self-talk strategy is more effective, whereas when the task requires predominantly strength and endurance, both motivational and instructional strategies are effective.

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Yannis Theodorakis, Parascevi Malliou, Athanasios Papaioannou, Anastasia Beneca, and Anastasia Filactakidou

This study examined the effect of goal setting on injury rehabilitation, specifically, differences in personal goal setting, self-efficacy, self-satisfaction, and performance between injured and noninjured subjects. Two experimental groups (32 women with knee injuries and 29 noninjured women) and one control group (n = 30) were used. Subjects performed four trials of a knee extension task on an isokinetic dynamometer. Prior to the third and fourth trials, subjects in the experimental groups set personal goals and completed self-efficacy and self-satisfaction scales. There were significant performance improvements for the two experimental groups; correlation coefficients between self-efficacy, self-satisfaction, goal setting, and performance were significant at the .001 level Personal goal setting was affected by level of ability and in turn had a direct effect on performance. Self-efficacy and self-satisfaction were affected by ability or performance but had no significant effect on personal goals or performance. The findings indicate that personal goal setting might be an important determinant for performance improvement in injury rehabilitation programs.

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Frederiki C. Moustaka, Symeon P. Vlachopoulos, Chris Kabitsis, and Yannis Theodorakis


The present study evaluated the effectiveness of an autonomy-supportive intervention based on self-determination theory in influencing perceptions of autonomy support, basic psychological needs, behavioral regulations, subjective vitality, and exercise behavior.


35 female exercise participants age 30 to 58 years who enrolled to an 8-week exercise program attended 24 exercise classes that were taught using either an autonomy-supportive (n = 19) or a lack of autonomy support (n = 16) instructing style.


The experimental group reported an increase in perceived autonomy support, the fulfillment of the needs for autonomy and competence, identified regulation, intrinsic motivation, and subjective vitality. They also reported higher attendance rates during the program and greater participation to moderate and/or mild nonstructured exercise during 5 weeks after the end of the program. The control group reported a decrease in perceived autonomy support, the needs for autonomy and competence, intrinsic motivation, and subjective vitality.


The results supported tenets of self-determination theory and highlighted the motivational and psychological benefits of an autonomy-supportive exercise instructing style among middle-age women.

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Yannis Theodorakis, Anastasia Beneca, Parascevi Malliou, and Marios Goudas

The aim of this study was to examine the effectiveness of goal setting on performance and on a number of psychological variables such as self-efficacy, pretesting anxiety, and self-satisfaction during an injury rehabilitation program. An experimental group (n = 20) and a control group (n = 17) of injured physical education students were studied. Both groups underwent a 4-week quadriceps strengthening program on an isokinetic dynamometer, with the experimental group setting specific personal goals in each training session. The experimental group improved in performance significantly more than the control group. Although both groups exhibited an increase in self-efficacy and a decrease in pretesting anxiety, only the experimental group had an increase in self-satisfaction with performance. Results confirm that incorporating goal setting in the rehabilitation process enhances rehabilitation results.

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Nikos Zourbanos, Antonis Hatzigeorgiadis, Stiliani Chroni, Yannis Theodorakis, and Athanasios Papaioannou

The aim of the present investigation was to develop an instrument assessing the content and the structure of athletes’ self-talk. The study was conducted in three stages. In the first stage, a large pool of items was generated and content analysis was used to organize the items into categories. Furthermore, item-content relevance analysis was conducted to help identifying the most appropriate items. In Stage 2, the factor structure of the instrument was examined by a series of exploratory factor analyses (Sample A: N = 507), whereas in Stage 3 the results of the exploratory factor analysis were retested through confirmatory factor analyses (Sample B: N = 766) and at the same time concurrent validity were assessed. The analyses revealed eight factors, four positive (psych up, confidence, anxiety control and instruction), three negative (worry, disengagement and somatic fatigue) and one neutral (irrelevant thoughts). The findings of the study provide evidence regarding the multidimensionality of self-talk, suggesting that ASTQS seems a psychometrically sound instrument that could help us developing cognitive-behavioral theories and interventions to examine and modify athletes’ self-talk.

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Athanasios Papaioannou, Herbert W. Marsh, and Yannis Theodorakis

Motivational climate is inherently a group-level construct so that longitudinal, multilevel designs are needed to evaluate its effects on subsequent outcomes. Based on a large sample of physical education classes (2,786 students, 200 classes, 67 teachers), we evaluated the effects of classroom motivational climate (task-involving and ego-involving) and individual goal orientations (task and ego) on individual students’ outcomes (intrinsic motivation, attitudes, physical self-concept, and exercise intentions) collected early (T1) and late (T2) in the school year. Using a multilevel approach, we found significant class-average differences in motivational climate at T1 that had positive effects on T2 outcomes after controlling T1 outcomes. Although there was no support for a “compatibility hypothesis” (e.g., that task oriented students were more benefited by task-involving motivation climates), the stability of goal orientations was undermined by incompatible climates.