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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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Cindy Rutten, Filip Boen and Jan Seghers

Based on self-determination theory, the purpose of this study was to explore the mediating role of autonomous motivation in the relation between environmental factors and pedometer-determined PA among 10- to 12-year-old Flemish children. Data were collected from 787 6th grade pupils and one of their parents. Children completed self-report measures including autonomous motivation for PA and perceived autonomy support for PA by parents and friends. Parents completed a questionnaire concerning their PA related parenting practices (logistic support and explicit modeling) and the perceived home environment with respect to PA opportunities. The results confirmed that autonomous motivation mediated the relation between children’s PA and their perceived autonomy support by friends and parents. Autonomous motivation also mediated the relation between parental logistic support and PA. In addition, a positive direct relation was found between parental explicit modeling and children’s PA, and between perceived neighborhood safety and children’s PA.

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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.

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Nadia C. Valentini and Mary E. Rudisill

Two studies were conducted to examine the effects of motivational climate on motor-skill development and perceived physical competence in kindergarten children with developmental delays. In Experiment 1, two intervention groups were exposed to environments with either high (mastery climate) or low autonomy for 12 weeks. Results showed that the mastery-climate group demonstrated significantly better locomotor performance and higher perceived physical competence postintervention than did the low-autonomy group, although both groups improved in locomotor and object-control skill performance. The second investigation extended the findings of the first by determining that the intervention effects were present 6 months later. In summary, the mastery-climate group showed positive changes in skill development and perceived physical competence, and this positive pattern of change was maintained over time.

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Bartolomé J. Almagro, Pedro Sáenz-López, Juan A. Moreno-Murcia and Chris Spray

This study qualitatively examined how athletes perceive their coach’s support for autonomy, as well as athletes’ motivation, satisfaction of basic psychological needs, and the 2 × 2 achievement goal framework of young Spanish athletes. Fifteen Spanish athletes (six females and nine males) between 13 and 16 years of age were interviewed from various sporting contexts. Content analysis of the interviews revealed: the coexistence of various types of motivation for the practice of these sports by the athletes that were interviewed; the presence of integrated regulation among some of these young athletes; the importance of autonomy support and the satisfaction of basic psychological needs for motivation and athletic commitment. The results are discussed on the basis of self-determination and achievement goal theory. Strategies are proposed for improving motivation and adherence to athletic practice in young athletes.

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

According to self-determination theory, teachers can motivate students by supporting their psychological needs for relatedness, competence, and autonomy. The present study complements extant research (most of which relied on self-report measures) by relying on observations of need-supportive teaching in the domain of physical education (PE), which allows for the identification of concrete, real-life examples of how teacher need support manifests in the classroom. Seventy-four different PE lessons were coded for 5-min intervals to assess the occurrence of 21 need-supportive teaching behaviors. Factor analyses provided evidence for four interpretable factors, namely, relatedness support, autonomy support, and two components of structure (structure before and during the activity). Reasonable evidence was obtained for convergence between observed and student perceived need support. Yet, the low interrater reliability for two of the four scales indicates that these scales need further improvement.

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Thomas Curran, Andrew P. Hill, Nikos Ntoumanis, Howard K. Hall and Gareth E. Jowett

Research adopting self-determination theory (SDT) supports a mediation model whereby coach motivational styles (autonomy support and interpersonal control) predict athletes’ engagement and disaffection in youth sport via the satisfaction and frustration of psychological needs (autonomy, competence, and relatedness). Our study extends this research by examining SDT’s mediation model longitudinally with three waves of data. Two hundred fifty-two youth sports participants (M age = 12.98; SD = 1.84; range = 11–17; female n = 67) completed measures of study variables at the start, middle, and end of a competitive soccer season. Cross-lagged path analyses revealed that associations between the two coach motivational styles and athletes’ engagement were mediated by psychological need satisfaction. Furthermore, a positive reciprocal association between psychological need satisfaction and engagement emerged over time. This study therefore supports the temporal assumptions underpinning SDT’s mediation model but, importantly, evidences a mutually reinforcing interplay between athletes’ psychological needs and their engaged behavior.

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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.