This study examined whether the provision of choice in physical education (PE) enhanced students’ autonomous motivation, perceived autonomy support, and physical activity (PA) levels, relative to a “regular PE” control group. Students from eight intact high school PE classes (N = 257, Mage = 12.91) were randomly assigned to control (i.e., four classes) and intervention (i.e., four classes) conditions. Students in the intervention group were given a unique opportunity to choose their preferred participatory role in their PE units, while control students participated in normal teacher-led PE, and data were collected over a 15-week program (i.e., three units of five weeks each). The results indicated that a lack of choice in PE aligned with less positive perceptions of autonomy support among students within the control group, compared with their counterparts in the intervention group. In some choice formats, students exhibited significantly higher PA levels than students who undertook normal PE. These findings indicate that offering choice in high school PE lessons may encourage perceptions of autonomy support and levels of in-class physical activity.
Yew Meng How, Peter Whipp, James Dimmock and Ben Jackson
Deborah L. Feltz and Denise A. Mugno
The present investigation was designed to replicate and extend the Feltz (1982) study of the causal elements in Bandura's (1977) theory of self-efficacy. Path analysis techniques were employed to investigate the predictions based on Bandura's model of self-efficacy, along with the additional influence of autonomic perception on the approach/avoidance behavior of female college students (N = 80) attempting a modified-back dive. The Bandura model predicted a reciprocal relationship between self-efficacy and back-diving performance, and between self-efficacy and physiological arousal (heart rate). It was also predicted that autonomic perception was a better predictor of self-efficacy than was physiological arousal, but not better than previous back-diving performance. Additionally, self-efficacy was hypothesized to be the mediator of past performance accomplishments, physiological arousal, and autonomic perception on back-diving performance. Bandura's model was tested against a “full” model that included performance, autonomic perception, and actual physiological arousal, along with self-efficacy as direct causal influences of back-diving performance. Results provided greater support for the full model. Although one's self-efficacy was the major predictor of performance on Trial 1, subjects' heart rates also significantly predicted performance on Trial 1. After Trial 1, back-diving performance on a previous trial was the major predictor of performance on the next trial. Furthermore, one's perception of autonomic arousal was a significant influence on self-efficacy but not on performance. Previous back-diving performance, however, was a better predictor of self-efficacy than autonomic perception. No reciprocal relationship was found between self-efficacy and physiological arousal. Moreover, the full model explained more performance variance than did the Bandura model.
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.
Sung Hyeon Cheon, Johnmarshall Reeve and Ik Soo Moon
Using the field’s state-of-the-art knowledge, we designed, implemented, and assessed the effectiveness of an intervention to help physical education (PE) teachers be more autonomy supportive during instruction. Nineteen secondary-school PE teachers in Seoul were randomly assigned into either an experimental or a delayed-treatment control group, and their 1,158 students self-reported their course-related psychological need satisfaction, autonomous motivation, amotivation, classroom engagement, skill development, future intentions, and academic achievement at the beginning, middle, and end of the semester. Observers’ ratings and students’ self-reports confirmed that the intervention was successful. Repeated-measures ANCOVAs showed that the students of teachers in the experimental group showed midsemester and end-of-semester improvements in all dependent measures. A multilevel structural equation model mediation analysis showed why the teacher-training program produced improvements in all six student outcomes—namely, teachers in the experimental group vitalized their students’ psychological need satisfaction during PE class in ways that teachers in the control group were unable to do, and it was this enhanced need satisfaction that explained the observed improvements in all six outcomes.
Alexei Wong and Arturo Figueroa
Cardiac autonomic nervous activity is a key determinant of cardiovascular health and prognosis ( Schwartz, La Rovere, & Vanoli, 1992 ). Cardiac autonomic function (CAF) is typically evaluated by heart rate variability (HRV), a noninvasive tool that provides indicators of the relative contributions
Alexei Wong, Arturo Figueroa, Marcos A. Sanchez-Gonzalez, Won-Mok Son, Oksana Chernykh and Song-Young Park
the presentation of the disorder ( Olsen & Park, 1998 ). Interestingly, the etiology and underlying mechanism of FM are not completely understood, but previous findings suggest that autonomic dysfunction may explain some of the FM symptoms ( Furlan et al., 2005 ; Martinez-Lavin, 2004 ; Raj
Keven A. Prusak and Paul W. Darst
This study examined the choices made by adolescent girls in physical education classes when allowed to choose from among a variety of walking activities. Following the TARGET (Epstein, 1988; Treasure & Roberts, 1999) structures, nine walking activities were created to reflect one of four themes: social, exercise/fitness, game-like, or competition. Participants were 570 girls from 21 intact 7th and 8th grade classes from five schools in two school districts. Every 3 days for 9 days, students chose from a list of three activities representing a combination of the four themes. They were significantly more likely to choose (a) a social activity over two exercise and fitness activities; (b) either a game-like or competitive activity over an exercise/fitness activity; and (c) a social activity over a game-like activity or a game-like activity over a competitive activity. Adolescent girls may benefit from activities that are designed to be social, game-like, and/or competitive.
Anne Holding, Jo-Annie Fortin, Joëlle Carpentier, Nora Hope and Richard Koestner
, these athletes may benefit from autonomy enhancing interventions designed to help athletes internalise their motivation for retirement. These interventions could, for example, validate athletes’ emotional responses about retirement, explore athletes’ attitudes about retirement, and help athletes
G. Monique Butcher Mokha
John W. Mahoney, Daniel F. Gucciardi, Nikos Ntoumanis and Cliff J. Mallet
We argue that basic psychological needs theory (BPNT) offers impetus to the value of mental toughness as a mechanism for optimizing human functioning. We hypothesized that psychological needs satisfaction (thwarting) would be associated with higher (lower) levels of mental toughness, positive affect, and performance and lower (higher) levels of negative affect. We also expected that mental toughness would be associated with higher levels of positive affect and performance and lower levels of negative affect. Further, we predicted that coaching environments would be related to mental toughness indirectly through psychological needs and that psychological needs would indirectly relate with performance and affect through mental toughness. Adolescent cross-country runners (136 male and 85 female, M age = 14.36) completed questionnaires pertaining to BPNT variables, mental toughness, and affect. Race times were also collected. Our findings supported our hypotheses. We concluded that BPNT is generative in understanding some of the antecedents and consequences of mental toughness and is a novel framework useful for understanding mental toughness.