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Ken Hodge and Chris Lonsdale

The purpose of this study was to examine whether the relationships between contextual factors (i.e., autonomy-supportive vs. controlling coaching style) and person factors (i.e., autonomous vs. controlled motivation) outlined in self-determination theory (SDT) were related to prosocial and antisocial behaviors in sport. We also investigated moral disengagement as a mediator of these relationships. Athletes’ (n = 292, M = 19.53 years) responses largely supported our SDT-derived hypotheses. Results indicated that an autonomy-supportive coaching style was associated with prosocial behavior toward teammates; this relationship was mediated by autonomous motivation. Controlled motivation was associated with antisocial behavior toward teammates and antisocial behavior toward opponents, and these two relationships were mediated by moral disengagement. The results provide support for research investigating the effect of autonomy-supportive coaching interventions on athletes’ prosocial and antisocial behavior.

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Benjamin D. Sylvester, Martyn Standage, Tavinder K. Ark, Shane N. Sweet, Peter R.E. Crocker, Bruno D. Zumbo and Mark R. Beauchamp

In this study, we examined whether perceived variety in exercise prospectively predicts unique variance in exercise behavior when examined alongside satisfaction of the three basic psychological needs (for competence, relatedness, and autonomy) embedded within self-determination theory (Ryan & Deci, 2002), through the mediating role of autonomous and controlled motivation. A convenience sample of community adults (N = 363) completed online questionnaires twice over a 6-week period. The results of structural equation modeling showed perceived variety and satisfaction of the needs for competence and relatedness to be unique indirect positive predictors of exercise behavior (through autonomous motivation) 6 weeks later. In addition, satisfaction of the need for autonomy was found to negatively predict controlled motivation. Perceived variety in exercise complemented satisfaction of the needs for competence, relatedness, and autonomy in predicting motivation and (indirectly) exercise behavior, and may act as a salient mechanism in the prediction of autonomous motivation and behavior in exercise settings.

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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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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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Packianathan Chelladurai and Etsuko Ogasawara

Male coaches from NCAA Division I (n = 297), Division III (n = 294), and Japanese universities (n = 254) responded to the Coach Satisfaction Questionnaire measuring satisfaction with supervision, coaching job, autonomy, facilities, media and community support, pay, team performance, amount of work, colleagues, athletes’ academic performance, and job security; and Blau, Paul, and St. John's (1993) General Index of Work Commitment. Japanese coaches expressed significantly lower satisfaction than American coaches with seven facets (supervision, coaching job, autonomy, team performance, colleagues, athletes' academic performance, and job security). American coaches were significantly more committed to their occupation than the Japanese coaches who were significantly more committed to their organizations than American coaches.

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Anna Valenzano, Fiorenzo Moscatelli, Antonio Ivano Triggiani, Laura Capranica, Giulia De Ioannon, Maria Francesca Piacentini, Sergio Mignardi, Giovanni Messina, Stefano Villani and Giuseppe Cibelli


To evaluate the effect of a solo ultraendurance open-water swim on autonomic and nonautonomic control of heart rate (HR).


A male athlete (age 48 y, height 172 cm, body mass 68 kg, BMI 23 kg/m2) underwent HR-variability (HRV) and circulating catecholamine evaluations at different times before and after an ultraendurance swim crossing the Adriatic Sea from Italy to Albania. HRV was measured in 5-min segments and quantified by time and frequency domain. Circulating catecholamines were estimated by salivary alpha-amylase (sAA) assay.


The athlete completed 78.1 km in 23:44 h:min. After arrival, sAA levels had increased by 102.6%. Time- and frequency-domain HRV indexes decreased, as well (mean RR interval, −29,7%; standard deviation of normal mean RR interval, −63,1%; square root of mean squared successive differences between normal-to-normal RR intervals, −49.3%; total power, −74.3%; low frequency, −78.0%; high frequency, −76.4%), while HR increased by 41.8%. At 16-h recovery, sAA had returned to preevent values, while a stable tachycardia was accompanied by reduced HRV measures.


To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study reporting cardiac autonomic adjustments to an extreme and challenging ultraendurance open-water swim. The findings confirmed that the autonomic drives depend on exercise efforts. Since HRV changes did not mirror the catecholamine response 16 h postevent, the authors assume that the ultraendurance swim differently influenced cardiac function by both adaptive autonomic and nonautonomic patterns.

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Helen M. Milne, Karen E. Wallman, Andrew Guilfoyle, Sandy Gordon and Kerry S. Courneya

The study aim was to examine constructs of autonomy support and competence as well as the motivation continuum from the self-determination theory (SDT) as a framework for understanding physical activity (PA) motivation and behavior in breast cancer survivors. Questionnaires assessing demographics, medical factors, PA, motivation continuum, perceived autonomy support, and competence were completed by 558 breast cancer survivors. Results showed that lymphedema (X2 = 7.9, p < .01) and income (X2 = 4.6, p < .05) were associated with meeting PA guidelines. Moreover, survivors meeting PA guidelines reported more identified regulations and intrinsic motivation (p < .01), autonomy support (p < .01), and competence (p < .01). Forced entry hierarchical regression analysis showed that SDT constructs explained 20.2% (p < .01) of the PA variance. Significant independent SDT predictors included identified regulation (ß = .14, p < .05) and competence (ß = .23, p < .01), with autonomy support approaching significance (ß = .9, p = .057). SDT may be a useful model for understanding PA motivation and behavior in breast cancer survivors.

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Wendy M. Rodgers, Camilla J. Knight, Anne-Marie Selzler, Ian L. Reade and Gregory F. Ryan

The purposes of this study were to, (a) assess motivational experiences of performance enhancement tasks (PET) and administrative tasks (AT), and; (b) examine the relationships of emergent motivational experiences of each task type to coaches’ perceived stress and intentions to continue coaching. In total, 572 coaches completed an online survey, which assessed autonomy, competence, relatedness, and other characteristics of PET and AT, intentions to continue coaching, and perceived stress. Two separate exploratory factor analyses (EFA) were conducted, one for AT and one for PET. This was followed up with confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and SEM to examine relationships between emerging factors and stress and intentions. The factors generated for PET reflected ideas of autonomy, time conflict, and satisfaction, and for AT also included competence, effort, and job requirements. The resulting experiences of AT and PET appear to have different influences on stress and intentions, suggesting their distinction will be important in future work examining coach retention.

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Dana Perlman

The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of an intervention grounded in Self-Determination Theory on preservice teachers’ instructional behaviors and the motivational responses of their students. A total of 62 preservice physical education teachers enrolled in a secondary physical education content and methods course were randomly assigned to either a treatment (n = 31) or a control group (n = 31). The study employed a pretest/posttest design and data were collected through: (a) observation of preservice teachers’ instruction, (b) a survey measuring preservice teachers’ perceptions of their autonomy support, and (c) a survey measuring secondary students’ motivation. Data analysis used repeated-measures ANOVAs to examine differences between the groups. Results indicated significant changes in autonomy-support for both teachers and students exposed to the intervention.

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Pascal Legrain, Nicolas Gillet, Christophe Gernigon and Marc-André Lafreniere

The purpose of this study was to test an integrative model regarding the impact of information and communication technology (ICT) on achievement in physical education. Pupils’ perceptions of autonomy-support from teacher, satisfaction of basic psychological needs, and self-determined motivation were considered to mediate the impact of ICT on pupils’ cognitive skills and motor performance. Ninety-six pupils (44 boys and 52 girls; M age = 12.40 years) were assigned to either the ICT or the traditional teaching (TT) condition of a quasi-experimental design. Results from path analyses supported the hypotheses that: (a) perception of autonomy support from teachers satisfies pupils’ basic psychological needs; (b) basic needs satisfaction in turn leads to greater self-determined motivation, which (c) then contributes to the enhancement of cognitive skills and motor performance.