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David Sanchez-Oliva, Pedro Antonio Sanchez-Miguel, Francisco Miguel Leo, Florence-Emilie Kinnafick and Tomás García-Calvo

Grounded in Self-Determination Theory, the purpose of this study was to analyze how motivational processes within Physical Education classes can predict intention to participate in sport or physical activity outside of the school curriculum. Participants included 1,692 Spanish students aged 12–16 years (M = 13.34; SD = .76) who participated in Physical Education lessons at 32 secondary schools. Structural equation modeling was used for analysis, and showed that perception of basic psychological need (BPN) support from teachers predicted autonomous and controlled motivation through BPN satisfaction. Furthermore, autonomous motivation positively predicted enjoyment, perceived importance of Physical Education, and intention to participate in sport or physical activity outside of school. Controlled motivation negatively predicted enjoyment, and amotivation positively predicted boredom. Finally, enjoyment and perceived importance of Physical Education positively predicted intention to participate in sport or physical activity outside of what was required in school. Results emphasize the importance of school based Physical Education to promote sport and physical activity participation among adolescents.

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Ian M. Taylor, Nikos Ntoumanis and Martyn Standage

Physical education teachers can influence students’ self-determination through the motivational strategies that they use. The current study examined how teachers’ reported use of three motivational strategies (providing a meaningful rationale, providing instrumental help and support, and gaining an understanding of the students) were predicted by perceived job pressure, perceptions of student self-determination, the teachers’ autonomous orientation, psychological need satisfaction, and self-determination to teach. Structural equation modeling supported a model in which perceived job pressure, perceptions of student self-determination, and teacher autonomous orientation predicted teacher psychological need satisfaction, which, in turn positively influenced teacher self-determination. The last positively predicted the use of all three strategies. Direct positive effects of teachers’ psychological need satisfaction on the strategies of gaining an understanding of students and instrumental help and support were also found. In summary, factors that influence teacher motivation may also indirectly affect their motivational strategies toward students.

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Martyn Standage, Simon J. Sebire and Tom Loney

This study examined the utility of motivation as advanced by self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 2000) in predicting objectively assessed bouts of moderate-intensity exercise behavior. Participants provided data pertaining to their exercise motivation. One week later, participants wore a combined accelerometer and heart rate monitor (Actiheart; Cambridge Neurotechnology Ltd) and 24-hr energy expenditure was estimated for 7 days. After controlling for gender and a combined marker of BMI and waist circumference, results showed autonomous motivation to positively predict moderate-intensity exercise bouts of ≥10 min, ≥20 min, and an accumulation needed to meet public health recommendations for moderate-intensity activity (i.e., ACSM/AHA guidelines). The present findings add bouts of objectively assessed exercise behavior to the growing body of literature that documents the adaptive consequences of engaging in exercise for autonomous reasons. Implications for practice and future work are discussed.

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Alison L. Smith, Nikos Ntoumanis, Joan L. Duda and Maarten Vansteenkiste

Developing upon cross-sectional research (Smith, Ntoumanis, & Duda, 2007) supporting the self-concordance model (Sheldon & Elliot, 1999) as a framework for contextual goal striving, the current study investigated the assumptions of the model in relation to season-long goal striving in sport. The study additionally examined the role of coping strategies in the persistence of goal-directed effort. Structural equation modeling analysis with a sample of 97 British athletes indicated that start-of-season autonomous goal motives were linked to midseason effort, which subsequently predicted end-of-season goal attainment. Attainment was positively related to changes in psychological need satisfaction, which, in turn, predicted changes in emotional well-being. In a second model, autonomous and controlled motives positively predicted task- and disengagement-oriented coping strategies, respectively. In turn, these strategies were differentially associated with effort. The findings provide support for contextual adaptations of the self-concordance model and demonstrate the role of coping strategies in the goal striving process.

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Athanasios Mouratidis, Maarten Vansteenkiste, Willy Lens and Georgios Sideridis

Based on self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 2000), an experimental study with middle school students participating in a physical education task and a correlational study with highly talented sport students investigated the motivating role of positive competence feedback on participants’ well-being, performance, and intention to participate. In Study 1, structural equation modeling favored the hypothesized motivational model, in which, after controlling for pretask perceived competence and competence valuation, feedback positively predicted competence satisfaction, which in turn predicted higher levels of vitality and greater intentions to participate, through the mediation of autonomous motivation. No effects on performance were found. Study 2 further showed that autonomous motivation mediated the relation between competence satisfaction and well-being, whereas amotivation mediated the negative relation between competence satisfaction and ill-being and rated performance. The discussion focuses on the motivational role of competence feedback in sports and physical education settings.

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Simon J. Sebire, Martyn Standage and Maarten Vansteenkiste

Grounded in self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 2000), the purpose of this work was to examine effects of the content and motivation of adults’ exercise goals on objectively assessed moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). After reporting the content and motivation of their exercise goals, 101 adult participants (M age = 38.79 years; SD = 11.5) wore an ActiGraph (GT1M) accelerometer for seven days. Accelerometer data were analyzed to provide estimates of engagement in MVPA and bouts of physical activity. Goal content did not directly predict behavioral engagement; however, mediation analysis revealed that goal content predicted behavior via autonomous exercise motivation. Specifically, intrinsic versus extrinsic goals for exercise had a positive indirect effect on average daily MVPA, average daily MVPA accumulated in 10-min bouts and the number of days on which participants performed 30 or more minutes of MVPA through autonomous motivation. These results support a motivational sequence in which intrinsic versus extrinsic exercise goals influence physical activity behavior because such goals are associated with more autonomous forms of exercise motivation.

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Maarten Vansteenkiste, Joke Simons, Bart Soenens and Willy Lens

The goal of the present study was to examine partially conflicting hypotheses derived from two motivational theories, namely self-determination theory (SDT; Deci & Ryan, 1985, 2000) and future time perspective theory (FTPT; Lens, 2001; Nuttin & Lens, 1985). In line with SDT, it was found that framing an exercise activity in terms of future intrinsic goal attainment (focusing on health and physical fitness) has a positive effect on effort expenditure, autonomous exercise motivation, performance, long-term persistence, and even sport club membership. On the other hand, framing an exercise activity in terms of future extrinsic goal attainment (focusing on physical appearance and attractiveness) undermined those outcomes compared to a no-future-goal control group. Correlational analyses indicate that future extrinsic goal framing led to non-autonomous persistence while future intrinsic goal framing resulted in autonomously driven perseverance at the free-choice activity. In contrast to FTPT, the no-future-goal control group did not differ from a future content-free goal group, in which the general future importance of the present task was stressed. Finally, presenting those goals in an autonomy-supportive rather than a controlling way resulted in the same motivational and behavioral benefits as future intrinsic goal framing. It is discussed how future time perspective theory and self-determination theory can be reconciled and integrated.

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Ron E. McBride and Ping Xiang

Three hundred and sixty-one students participating in university physical activity classes completed questionnaires assessing perceived health and self-regulated learning. In addition, 20 students (11 men; 9 women) were interviewed about their reasons for enrolling, participation and goals in the class. Results indicated the students endorsed intrinsic regulation, were autonomous, and the males scored significantly higher on intrinsic regulation and perceived health. Of four regulators, intrinsic regulation predicted student perceived health. The social nature of regulation also cannot be overlooked in providing practicable opportunities and relationships that influence learning in university physical activity classes.

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Stephanie Mazerolle, Christianne M. Eason and Stephanie Clines

The graduate assistant (GA) athletic trainer position often symbolizes an important transitory role from student to autonomous practitioner. The position also is used to help gain valuable experience for future employment. Our purpose was to understand the socialization process of the GA athletic trainer as well as investigate the career intentions as they begin to seek employment following their experiences in that transitory role. Twenty-five (5 males, 20 females) GA athletic trainers were recruited and participated in this study. Findings indicate the experiences of novice athletic trainers serving as GAs have the potential to both positively or negatively influence perceptions of the athletic training profession and, ultimately, career intentions.

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Ben Jackson, Peter R. Whipp, K.L. Peter Chua, James A. Dimmock and Martin S. Hagger

Within instructional settings, individuals form relational efficacy appraisals that complement their self-efficacy beliefs. In high school physical education (PE), for instance, students develop a level of confidence in their teacher’s capabilities, as well as estimating how confident they think their teacher is in their (i.e., the students’) ability. Grounded in existing transcontextual work, we examined the motivational pathways through which students’ relational efficacy and self-efficacy beliefs in PE were predictive of their leisure-time physical activity. Singaporean students (N = 990; age M = 13.95, SD = 1.02) completed instruments assessing efficacy beliefs, perceptions of teacher relatedness support, and autonomous motivation toward PE, and 2 weeks later they reported their motivation toward, and engagement in, leisure-time physical activity. Structural equation modeling revealed that students reported stronger other-efficacy and RISE beliefs when they felt that their teacher created a highly relatedness-supportive environment. In turn, their relational efficacy beliefs (a) supported their confidence in their own ability, (b) directly and indirectly predicted more autonomous motives for participation in PE, and (c) displayed prospective transcontextual effects in relation to leisure-time variables. By emphasizing the adaptive motivational effects associated with the tripartite constructs, these findings highlight novel pathways linking students’ efficacy perceptions with leisure-time outcomes.