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Nicholas S. Washburn, K. Andrew R. Richards, and Oleg A. Sinelnikov

, anchored at one end by those that are highly autonomy-supportive and at the other by those that are highly controlling ( Reeve, 2009 ). Autonomy-supportive teachers generally act in ways that support students’ innate desire for psychological need satisfaction (PNS; Reeve, 2009 ). In application, these

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Jennifer Brunet, Katie E. Gunnell, Pedro Teixeira, Catherine M. Sabiston, and Mathieu Bélanger

The objectives of this study were to examine whether (a) measures designed to assess satisfaction of competence, autonomy, and relatedness needs in physical activity contexts can represent both general and specific needs satisfaction and (b) the specific needs are associated with concurrent moderate-to-vigorous-intensity physical activity (MVPA) participation (Time 1) and MVPA participation 4 months later (Time 2), beyond general psychological need satisfaction (PNS). Data from 544 adolescents (M age = 14.1 years, SD = 0.6) were analyzed. A bifactor model specifying four factors (i.e., one general PNS and three specific needs) provided a good fit to the data. Extending the model to predict Time 1 and Time 2 MVPA participation also provided a good fit to the data. General PNS and specific needs had unique and empirically distinguishable associations with MVPA participation. The bifactor operationalization of PNS provides a framework to delineate common and distinctive antecedents and outcomes of general PNS and specific needs.

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Philip M. Wilson, W. Todd Rogers, Wendy M. Rodgers, and T. Cameron Wild

The purpose of this study was to provide initial construct validity evidence for scores derived from the Psychological Need Satisfaction in Exercise (PNSE) scale, a multidimensional instrument designed to measure perceived psychological need satisfaction in line with Deci and Ryanʼs (1985, 2002) self-determination theory (SDT). Participants in two studies (n 1 = 426; n 2 = 581) completed the PNSE along with proxy measures of need satisfaction. The results of an exploratory factor analysis in Study 1 supported the retention of a 3-factor measurement model underpinning PNSE responses. Confirmatory factor analysis conducted in Study 2 corroborated the tenability of the 3-factor measurement model in males and females and indicated partial support for invariance of PNSE scores across gender. Additionally, the scores on both the PNSE-Competence and PNSE-Relatedness subscales displayed a pattern of convergence with proxy measures. High internal consistency estimates (Cronbach α > 0.90) were observed for all PNSE subscale scores, and participants in both studies reported high levels of need satisfaction in exercise contexts. Overall, the findings suggest that the PNSE displays a number of psychometric characteristics that render the instrument useful for examining psychological need satisfaction in exercise contexts.

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Katie E. Gunnell, Jennifer Brunet, Catherine Sabiston, and Mathieu Bélanger

Despite research attention toward understanding relationships between psychological need satisfaction (PNS), moderate-to-vigorous-intensity physical activity (MVPA), and health-related quality of life (HRQoL), methodological limitations make it difficult to establish reciprocal and mediating effects. Reciprocal relationships between PNS and MVPA were examined over 4 years, and their effects on adolescents’ change in dimensions of HRQoL were examined. Self-reported data were collected from 932 adolescents (M age = 10.9 years) every 4 months beginning in Grades 5/6. At the between-persons and within-person level, earlier PNS predicted later MVPA whereas earlier MVPA did not predict later PNS. Increases in MVPA were associated with greater change in physical (βlinear = .61, βquadratic = .77, ps = .03) and school functioning (βlinear = .68, βquadratic = .84, ps = .03) but no other dimensions of HRQoL (p > .05). Decreases in PNS were not associated with any of the dimensions of HRQoL. Fostering adolescents’ PNS could be a starting point to increase MVPA, which, in turn, may enhance select dimensions of HRQoL.

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Johannes Raabe, Kim Tolentino, and Tucker Readdy

head coach behavior  1. Need-supportive behavior 5.58 (±1.11) .87 — .61 .21 .16  2. Need-thwarting behavior 1.80 (±0.99) .88 −.75 — .64 .29 .25  3. Need-indifferent behavior 2.77 (±1.30) .81 −.73 −.72 — .51 .29 .20 Basic psychological need satisfaction  4. Autonomy satisfaction 5.54 (±1.04) .83 .55

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Juliette Stebbings, Ian M. Taylor, and Christopher M. Spray

Within the self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 2000) framework, research has considered the consequences of coaches’ autonomy supportive and controlling behaviors on various athlete outcomes (e.g., motivation and performance). The antecedents of such behaviors, however, have received little attention. Coaches (N = 443) from a variety of sports and competitive levels completed a self-report questionnaire to assess their psychological need satisfaction, well-being and perceived interpersonal behaviors toward their athletes. Structural equation modeling demonstrated that coaches’ competence and autonomy need satisfaction positively predicted their levels of psychological well-being, as indexed by positive affect and subjective vitality. In turn, coaches’ psychological well-being positively predicted their perceived autonomy support toward their athletes, and negatively predicted their perceived controlling behaviors. Overall, the results highlight the importance of coaching contexts that facilitate coaches’ psychological need satisfaction and well-being, thereby increasing the likelihood of adaptive coach interpersonal behavior toward athletes.

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Eleanor Quested, Jos A. Bosch, Victoria E. Burns, Jennifer Cumming, Nikos Ntoumanis, and Joan L. Duda

Self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 2000) posits basic psychological need satisfaction (BPNS) as essential for optimal functioning and health. Grounded in this framework, the current study examined the role of BPNS in dancers’ cognitive appraisals and hormonal and emotional responses to performance stress. Dancers reported their degree of BPNS 1 month before a solo performance. Threat and challenge appraisals of the solo were recorded 2 hr before the performance. Salivary cortisol and anxiety were measured 15 min before, and 15, 30, 45, and 60 min postperformance. Higher BPNS was associated with lower cortisol responses and anxiety intensity. Challenge appraisals mediated the association between BPNS and cortisol. Threat appraisals mediated the BPNS–anxiety intensity relationship. These findings point to the potential importance of performers’ BPNS for optimal emotional and hormonal homeostasis in performance conditions.

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Ian M. Taylor and Chris Lonsdale

Using basic psychological needs theory (BPNT; Ryan & Deci, 2000) as our guiding framework, we explored cultural differences in the relationships among physical education students’ perceptions of teacher autonomy support, psychological need satisfaction, subjective vitality and effort in class. Seven hundred and fifteen students (age range from 13 to 15 years) from the U.K. and Hong Kong, China, completed a multisection inventory during a timetabled physical education class. Multilevel analyses revealed that the relationships among autonomy support, subjective vitality and effort were mediated by students’ perceptions of psychological need satisfaction. The relationship between autonomy support and perceptions of competence was stronger in the Chinese sample, compared with the U.K. sample. In addition, the relationship between perceptions of relatedness and effort was not significant in the Chinese students. The findings generally support the pan-cultural utility of BPNT and imply that a teacher-created autonomy supportive environment may promote positive student experiences in both cultures.

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Simon J. Sebire, Martyn Standage, and Maarten Vansteenkiste

Grounded in self-determination theory (SDT), this study had two purposes: (a) examine the associations between intrinsic (relative to extrinsic) exercise goal content and cognitive, affective, and behavioral outcomes; and (b) test the mediating role of psychological need satisfaction in the Exercise Goal Content Outcomes relationship. Using a sample of 410 adults, hierarchical regression analysis showed relative intrinsic goal content to positively predict physical self-worth, self-reported exercise behavior, psychological well-being, and psychological need satisfaction and negatively predict exercise anxiety. Except for exercise behavior, the predictive utility of relative intrinsic goal content on the dependent variables of interest remained significant after controlling for participants’ relative self-determined exercise motivation. Structural equation modeling analyses showed psychological need satisfaction to partially mediate the effect of relative intrinsic goal content on the outcome variables. Our findings support further investigation of exercise goals commensurate with the goal content perspective advanced in SDT.

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Anne Cox and Lavon Williams

Research illustrates the positive roles of perceived competence, autonomy, and mastery climate and the negative role of performance climate in student motivation in physical education. Less research has examined perceptions of relationships within this setting (i.e., perceived teacher support and relatedness) and their role in student motivation. The purpose of this study was to test the mediating roles of perceived competence, autonomy, and relatedness in the relationship between social contextual factors and motivation in physical education students (N = 508). Results from structural equation modeling showed that perceived competence, autonomy, and relatedness partially mediated the relationship between perceived teacher support and self-determined motivation and that mastery climate related directly to self-determined motivation. The results highlight the importance of perceived teacher support, mastery climate, and relatedness to motivation in physical education.