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Cindy Rutten, Filip Boen and Jan Seghers

Based on the self-determination theory, this study investigated the mediating role of the satisfaction of the three psychological needs (need for competence, relatedness and autonomy) in the relation between need support from the physical education (PE) teacher and autonomous motivation to engage in PE and between the physical school environment and autonomous motivation to engage in PE. Data were collected from 2418 6th grade children. Analyses were performed using bootstrapping. The results showed that perceptions of competence and autonomy mediated the relation between need support from the PE teacher and autonomous motivation. Moreover, the perception of autonomy also mediated the relation between the physical school environment and autonomous motivation. These findings suggest that not only the PE teacher but also the physical school environment is able to promote autonomous motivation by satisfying the need for autonomy.

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Nathalie Aelterman, Maarten Vansteenkiste, Lynn Van den Berghe, Jotie De Meyer and Leen Haerens

The present intervention study examined whether physical education (PE) teachers can learn to make use of autonomy-supportive and structuring teaching strategies. In a sample of 39 teachers (31 men, M = 38.51 ± 10.44 years) and 669 students (424 boys, M = 14.58 ± 1.92 years), we investigated whether a professional development training grounded in self-determination theory led to changes in (a) teachers’ beliefs about the effectiveness and feasibility of autonomy-supportive and structuring strategies and (b) teachers’ in-class reliance on these strategies, as rated by teachers, external observers, and students. The intervention led to positive changes in teachers’ beliefs regarding both autonomy support and structure. As for teachers’ actual teaching behavior, the intervention was successful in increasing autonomy support according to students and external observers, while resulting in positive changes in teacher-reported structure. Implications for professional development and recommendations for future research are discussed.

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Guro Strøm Solli, Espen Tønnessen and Øyvind Sandbakk

, nutrition and sleep), life stress, and health must be assessed. 18 The athlete’s motivation and autonomy in the implementation of training plans, as well as general well-being, must be considered. 17 Consequently, a multidisciplinary research approach is necessary to fully understand the challenging process

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Ben T. Stephenson, Sven P. Hoekstra, Keith Tolfrey and Victoria L. Goosey-Tolfrey

Paralympic athletes are a population group with unique challenges in autonomic or behavioral thermoregulatory function, relative to able-bodied (AB) athletes. While this has been acknowledged by researchers, 1 there is still a dearth of research in elite athletes with physical impairments. The

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Robin S. Vealey, Eric Martin, Angela Coppola, Rose Marie Ward and Jacob Chamberlin

(emotional exhaustion and depersonalization), feelings of being extrinsically controlled in their motivation or lacking in motivation, and low feelings of autonomy. Socially-prescribed perfectionism is characterized by perceptions that others hold unrealistically high standards for you and are critical of

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Dana Perlman

The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of the social context, based within self-determination theory, on student’s in-class physical activity. A total of 84 Year 11/12 physical education students were randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups; Autonomy-supportive, Controlling and Balanced. Data were collected using a pretest/posttest design measuring in-class physical activity. Analysis of data used Repeated Measures ANOVAs to examine group differences. Results indicated significant differences for students engaged in the autonomy-supportive context in terms of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. These results indicate that instructional behaviors that align with an autonomy-supportive context can facilitate higher levels of in-class physical activity.

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Thomas Curran, Andrew P. Hill and Christopher P. Niemiec

The potential benefits of children’s engagement in sport for their psychological, social, and physical health are well established. Yet children may also experience psychological and social impairments due, in part, to a variety of detrimental coach behaviors. In the current study, we proposed and tested a conditional process model of children’s self-reported behavioral engagement and behavioral disaffection in sport based on self-determination theory. Results from a sample of 245 youth soccer players suggested that structure from coaches related positively to behavioral engagement and negatively to behavioral disaffection, and that these relations were mediated by athletes’ basic psychological need satisfaction. Importantly, and in line with our hypotheses, these indirect effects were moderated by autonomy support from coaches, such that the mediation was evident only among those who reported higher levels of autonomy support. These findings underscore the importance of coaches’ providing guidance, expectations, and feedback (i.e., structure) in a way that respects athletes’ volition (i.e., autonomy support).

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Simon J. Sebire, Mark J. Edwards, Kenneth R. Fox, Ben Davies, Kathryn Banfield, Lesley Wood and Russell Jago

The implementation, fidelity, and receipt of a self-determination-theory-based after-school physical activity intervention (Action 3:30) delivered by teaching assistants (TAs) was examined using a mixed-methods process evaluation. Physical activity motivation and need satisfaction were reported by 539 participants at baseline, the end of intervention, and 4-month follow-up. Pupil- and TA-reported autonomy-support and teaching efficacy were collected alongside interviews with 18 TAs and focus groups with 60 participants. Among intervention boys there were small increases in identified, introjected, and external motivation and no differences in need satisfaction. Among girls, intrinsic and identified motivation and autonomy and relatedness were lower in the intervention group. Qualitative evidence for fidelity was moderate, and boys reported greater need satisfaction than girls. TAs provided greater structure than involvement or autonomy-support and felt least efficacious when facing school-based challenges. The findings highlight the refinements needed to enhance theoretical fidelity and intervention effectiveness for boys and girls.

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Martyn Standage, Fiona B. Gillison, Nikos Ntoumanis and Darren C. Treasure

A three-wave prospective design was used to assess a model of motivation guided by self-determination theory (Ryan & Deci, 2008) spanning the contexts of school physical education (PE) and exercise. The outcome variables examined were health-related quality of life (HRQoL), physical self-concept (PSC), and 4 days of objectively assessed estimates of activity. Secondary school students (n = 494) completed questionnaires at three separate time points and were familiarized with how to use a sealed pedometer. Results of structural equation modeling supported a model in which perceptions of autonomy support from a PE teacher positively predicted PE-related need satisfaction (autonomy, competence, and relatedness). Competence predicted PSC, whereas relatedness predicted HRQoL. Autonomy and competence positively predicted autonomous motivation toward PE, which in turn positively predicted autonomous motivation toward exercise (i.e., 4-day pedometer step count). Autonomous motivation toward exercise positively predicted step count, HRQoL, and PSC. Results of multisample structural equation modeling supported gender invariance. Suggestions for future work are discussed.

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Tao Zhang, Melinda A. Solmon, Maria Kosma, Russell L. Carson and Xiangli Gu

Using self-determination theory as a framework, the purpose of this study was to test a structural model of hypothesized relationships among perceived need support from physical education teachers (autonomy support, competence support, and relatedness support), psychological need satisfaction (autonomy, competence, and relatedness), intrinsic motivation, and physical activity. Participants were 286 middle school students in the southeastern U.S. They completed previously validated questionnaires assessing their perceived need support from teachers, need satisfaction, intrinsic motivation, and physical activity. The hypothesized model demonstrated a good fit with the data (RMSEA = .08; CFI = .97; NFI = .96; GFI = .96). Need satisfaction and intrinsic motivation mediated the relationship between need support and physical activity. The constructs of perceived autonomy, competence, and relatedness represent the nutriments that facilitate students’ intrinsic motivation and ultimately positively predict students’ physical activity. The findings supported the theoretical tenets of self-determination theory.