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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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Marios Goudas, Stuart Biddle, Kenneth Fox and Martin Underwood

The purpose of this study was to examine the motivational effects of two different teaching styles in one sport activity. One class of 24 girls was taught track and field for 10 weeks, each lesson being taught with either a direct (practice) or a differentiated (inclusion) teaching style. After each lesson the girls completed self-report measures of intrinsic motivation and goal involvement. On course completion, 8 girls were interviewed to assess their reactions to the course. ANOVA showed that students reporting higher levels of competence, autonomy, and task orientation had higher intrinsic motivation scores throughout the course. However, teaching style was also found to have an independent effect; the differentiated style was associated with higher levels of intrinsic motivation and task goal involvement and lower levels of work avoidance involvement. A differentiated teaching style can positively influence young girls’ reactions to a sports activity independently of perceptions of goal orientations, autonomy, and competence.

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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.

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Joëlle Carpentier and Geneviève A. Mageau

Change-oriented feedback (COF) quality is predictive of between-athletes differences in their sport experience (Carpentier & Mageau, 2013). This study extends these findings by investigating how training-to-training variations in COF quality influence athletes’ training experience (within-athlete differences) while controlling for the impact of promotion-oriented feedback (POF). In total, 49 athletes completed a diary after 15 consecutive training sessions to assess COF and POF received during training, as well as situational outcomes. Multivariate multilevel analyses showed that, when controlling for covariates, COF quality during a specific training session is positively linked to athletes’ autonomous motivation, self-confidence and satisfaction of their psychological needs for autonomy and relatedness during the same session. In contrast, COF quantity is negatively linked to athletes’ need for competence. POF quality is a significant positive predictor of athletes’ self-confidence and needs for autonomy and competence. Contributions to the feedback and SDT literature, and for coaches’ training, are discussed.

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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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Keith R. Johnston, Donna L. Goodwin and Jennifer Leo

Dignity, as an essential quality of being human, has been overlooked in exercise contexts. The aim of this interpretative phenomenological study was to understand the meaning of dignity and its importance to exercise participation. The experiences of 21 adults (11 women and 10 men) from 19 to 65 yr of age who experience disability, who attended a specialized community exercise facility, were gathered using the methods of focus-group and one-on-one interviews, visual images, and field notes. The thematic analysis revealed 4 themes: the comfort of feeling welcome, perceptions of otherness, negotiating public spaces, and lost autonomy. Dignity was subjectively understood and nurtured through the respect of others. Indignities occurred when enacted social and cultural norms brought dignity to consciousness through humiliation or removal of autonomy. The specialized exercise environment promoted self-worth and positive self-beliefs through shared life experiences and a norm of respect.

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Katherine R. Newsham

Performance enhancement is a multibillion dollar industry, with little known about the efficacy or safety of many practices. Many sport governing bodies have banned certain equipment, supplements, and drugs, yet, some athletes use anyway. This use may pose a danger to the individual user, as well as to other participants, and can challenge the integrity of the sport. We must consider how we, as health care professionals, balance personal autonomy, individual safety, and the integrity of sport in fulfilling our social contract.

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Frederick S. Daniels and Daniel M. Landers

This study investigated heart rate (HE) and respiration functioning during rifle shooting to test hypotheses derived from Schwartz's (1979) systems and disregulation theory, and to compare biofeedback with verbal instruction in developing awareness and control of autonomic patterns. Male subjects (N = 8) were pretested to determine HE and respiration patterns affecting performance. They were then divided into two equal groups and given either auditory biofeedback or verbal instruction. The auditory-biofeedback group received continuous pattern feedback through earphones while the verbal instruction group received only presession instruction without feedback. Each group trained for five sessions of 40 shots each. Following training, two 40-shot sessions were conducted. A scaled interview was administered pre- and posttraining to determine awareness/control of autonomic functioning. Compared to the verbal instruction group, the results showed that the biofeedback group significantly improved performance and consistency of the desired pattern and had significantly greater awareness/control of the autonomic pattern. The results supported the systems and disregulation theory as well as the viability of biofeedback for altering imbalances within the systems.

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Kaisu Marjut Kaikkonen, Raija irmeli Korpelainen, Mikko P. Tulppo, Hannu Sakari Kaikkonen, Marja Liisa Vanhala, Mika Antero Kallio, Sirkka M. Keinänen-Kiukaanniemi and Juha Tapani Korpelainen

Background:

Autonomic nervous system (ANS) dysfunction and obesity are intrinsically related to each other. In normal-weight subjects physical activity (PA) and fitness are related to cardiovascular autonomic regulation, providing evidence that aerobic training may improve ANS functioning measured by heart rate variability (HRV). The goal of this study was to investigate the association between lifetime PA, aerobic fitness and HRV in obese adults.

Methods:

Participants included 107 (87 females) volunteers (mean age 44.5 years, median BMI 35.7) who completed health and lifestyle questionnaires and measurements of maximal aerobic performance, anthropometry and 24 h HRV.

Results:

In the multivariate linear regression analyses, lifetime physical activity explained 40% of the variance in normal R-R intervals (SDNN). Each 1-category increase in the activity index increased SDNN by 15.4 (P = .009) and 24% of the variance in natural logarithmic value of ultra-low frequency power (P = .050). High measured VO2max explained 45% of the variance in natural logarithmic value of high-frequency power (P = .009) and 25% of the variance in low frequency/high frequency ratio (P < .001).

Conclusions:

Lifetime physical activity and aerobic fitness may reduce obesity-related health risks by improving the cardiac autonomic function measured by HRV in obese workingage subjects. This research supports the role of lifetime physical activity in weight management strategies and interventions to reduce obesity-related health risks.

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Tao Zhang, Melinda A. Solmon and Xiangli Gu

Examining how teachers’ beliefs and behaviors predict students’ motivation and achievement outcomes in physical education is an area of increasing research interest. Guided by the expectancy-value model and self-determination theory, the major purpose of this study was to examine the predictive strength of teachers’ autonomy, competence, and relatedness support toward students’ expectancy-related beliefs, subjective task values, concentration, and persistence/effort in physical education. Participants were 273 middle school students (143 girls, 130 boys) enrolled in a southeastern suburban public school. They completed previously validated questionnaires assessing their perceived teachers’ support for autonomy, competence, and relatedness, expectancy-related beliefs, subjective task values, concentration, and self-reported persistence/effort during their regular classes. The results highlight the importance of teachers’ competence support and autonomy support in fostering students’ motivational constructs and achievement outcomes in physical education. The findings demonstrate that a supportive environment and high levels of expectancy-related beliefs and subjective task values are positively associated with students’ achievement outcomes in physical education.