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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.

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Andrew Romaine, J.D. DeFreese, Kevin Guskiewicz, and Johna Register-Mihalik

As head injuries in American football have received increasing publicity, the safety of the sport has become a great concern for parents nationwide. The purpose of this study was to examine perceived safety concerns in youth football using Eccles’ expectancy-value model (Eccles et al., 1983). We hypothesized perceived safety concerns to moderate relationships between parent perceptions of parent cost/benefit, child cost/benefit, and child motivation and enjoyment outcomes for football. Youth football parents (N = 105, M age = 42) completed valid and reliable online assessments of study variables. Regression analyses revealed child safety concerns (as rated by parents) to mediate, rather than moderate, the relationship between parent safety concerns and child cost perceptions (as rated by parents). Furthermore, safety concerns did not significantly associate with child achievement outcomes of motivation and enjoyment. Results provide valuable insight into parent and child attitudes toward youth football safety. Such knowledge may inform future educational interventions targeting sport safety promotion.

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Bo Shen, Nate McCaughtry, Jeffrey J. Martin, and Mariane Fahlman

With the belief that theoretical integration in motivation may help us better understand motivational behavior, we designed this study to explore adolescents’ motivational profiles and their associations with knowledge acquisition, leisure-time exercise behaviors, and cardiorespiratory fitness. Middle school students from a large urban inner-city school district (N = 603, ages 12–14) completed questionnaires assessing motivational constructs and leisure-time exercise behavior. Knowledge and cardiorespiratory fitness were also assessed with a knowledge test and the Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run (PACER) test, respectively. Using hierarchical cluster analysis, we found that students’ motivation in physical education could be explained from a multi-theoretical perspective. The interactive patterns among different motivation constructs were homogeneous overall and associated with in-class effort, knowledge, and leisure-time exercise behavior. These findings suggest that students’ development in physical education may depend upon a collective impact of changes in knowledge, physical activity ability, and sources of motivation.

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Edward McAuley and Terry E. Duncan

This investigation examined the roles of intuitive (subjective performance perceptions) and reflective (causal attributions) appraisals in the generation of affective reactions to gymnastic performance. Both intuitive and cognitive appraisal were significant predictors of general affect, whereas self-related affects were predominantly influenced by intuitive appraisal and other-related affect by causal dimensions. The stability dimension evidenced the strongest relationship with both general and other-related affective reactions. Commonality analyses determined both types of appraisal to account for up to 14.7% of the cojoint variance in emotional reactions, suggesting that intuitive appraisal may well be perceived as causal attributions under certain circumstances. The findings are discussed in terms of the conditions under which attributions augment the emotion process and the importance of assessing perceptions of performance.

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W. Jack Rejeski and Lawrence R. Brawley

In adopting attribution theory, researchers in the field of sport psychology have followed the cognitive perspectives characteristic of mainstream investigations in this area. Numerous investigations regarding the self-perception of achievement outcomes in sport reveal this trend. The present article discusses the sport psychological perspective of attribution theory in terms of present and future concerns. First, a critical evaluation of existing approaches to the study of sport attribution is presented. The discussion outlines the typical characteristics of such investigations and their problems, some inherited from psychology and others unique to sport. This critical analysis underscores the narrowness of previous interests. Second, the broad scope of attribution is presented to emphasize the wealth of research problems that could be studied, in addition to those concerning self-focus on achievement outcomes. Third, recent investigations of attribution in sport are briefly described to exemplify new research directions. These examples sketch the importance of subjects' phenomenology, the situational and internal variables affecting attributions, and a developmental comment. If future studies recognize the rich array of social inference problems within the sport context and confront previous investigative errors, the result should be a productive decade of attribution research in sport psychology.

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Zan Gao and Ping Xiang

Guided by an expectancy-value model of achievement choice (Eccles et al., 1983; Wigfield & Eccles, 2000), the relationships among expectancy-related beliefs, subjective task values (importance, interest, and usefulness), and achievement outcomes (intention, engagement, and performance) were examined in a college-level beginning weight training class. A total of 156 students (73 males, 83 females) completed questionnaires assessing their expectancy-related beliefs, subjective task values, and intention for future participation. Their engagement was measured via self-recorded workout log entries in class, and their performance was determined by two skill tests. Results of the study supported the application of the expectancy-value model in the context of a college weight training class. Importance and interest were significant predictors of intention and engagement, whereas expectancy-related beliefs emerged as the only predictor of performance. Males reported higher scores on expectancy-related beliefs and performed better than females.

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Edward McAuley and Terry E. Duncan

Research suggests that attributional search is a consequence of disconfirming outcomes and that causal dimensions influence affective reactions to achievement outcomes. The present study manipulated future expectancies for performance and actual outcome in a competitive motor task. Following competitive outcome, causal attributions for and affective reactions to the outcome were assessed. Discriminant analysis indicated that winners experienced significantly more positive affect than did losers, who reported more intense negative affects. Regression analyses examined the relationship between causal dimensions and affective reactions. The locus of causality and stability dimensions significantly influenced a number of negative affects in losers, whereas all three dimensions in combination significantly influenced confidence in winners. The findings are discussed in relation to previous attribution-affect research in achievement settings and the role of disconfirm-ing experiences in the attribution process.

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Haiyong Ding, Haichun Sun, and Ang Chen

To be successful in learning, students need to be motivated to engage and learn. The domain-specificity motivation theory articulates that student motivation is often determined by the content being taught to them. The purpose of this study was to extend the theory by determining domain-specificity of situational interest and expectancy-value motivation in terms of engagement and achievement outcomes in physical education. A random student sample (N = 346) from eight Chinese middle schools provided data of situational interest, expectancy-value, engagement, and knowledge and skills acquired. Results from correlation, regression, and structural equation model analyses revealed causal inferences demonstrating differentiated effects of motivation components on the outcome measures: task values were specific to knowledge outcome, expectancy beliefs to skills, and situational interest to engagement. The findings imply that physical educators need to adopt motivation strategies compatible to specific learning outcomes to maximize student motivation for engagement and achievement.

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Symeon Vlachopoulos, Stuart Biddle, and Kenneth Fox

The present study examined the relationships between achievement goal orientations, perceived sport competence, situational goal involvement, attributions for achievement outcomes, and achievement-related affect after participation in aerobic activity in children. School students age 11–14 years (N = 211) participated in either a 400-m track-and-field event or a health-related fitness test during regular physical education lessons. Participants were assessed on goal orientations and perceived sport competence prior to participation. After completing the activities, participants indicated their goals adopted during the activities, perceptions of success, attributions for success and failure, and emotions. Task involvement and perceptions of success emerged as significant predictors of positive affect, whereas perceived success inversely influenced negative affect. In addition, internal attributions for success emerged as significantly predicting positive emotion, but with a weak effect. Adoption a task goal appears to enhance children’s positive affect after physical activity participation.

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Thomas Curran and Andrew P. Hill

-oriented perfectionism and socially prescribed perfectionism positively correlated with achievement-related self-worth contingencies (the desire to outperform others). And, more recently, Curran ( 2018 ) found the same among adolescent athletes. With this in mind, we argue that competitive achievement outcomes are