We conducted a cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT) to test the effects of a self-determination theory-based intervention on athlete motivation and burnout. In addition, we examined the feasibility and acceptability of the intervention. We randomly assigned youth Gaelic football coaches (N = 6) and their teams to an experimental or a delayed treatment control group (n = 3 each group). We employed linear mixed modeling to analyze changes in player motivation and burnout as a result of their coach participating in a 12-week SDT-based intervention. In addition, we conducted a fidelity assessment to examine whether the intervention was implemented as planned. The findings demonstrated the feasibility and acceptability of implementing a self-determination theory-based intervention in the coaching domain. In addition, this study demonstrated favorable trends in the quality of player motivation and burnout symptoms as a result of an SDT-based intervention.
Testing the Effects of a Self-Determination Theory-Based Intervention with Youth Gaelic Football Coaches on Athlete Motivation and Burnout
Edel Langan, John Toner, Catherine Blake, and Chris Lonsdale
A Conditional Process Model of Children’s Behavioral Engagement and Behavioral Disaffection in Sport Based on Self-Determination Theory
Thomas Curran, Andrew P. Hill, and Christopher P. Niemiec
The potential benefits of children’s engagement in sport for their psychological, social, and physical health are well established. Yet children may also experience psychological and social impairments due, in part, to a variety of detrimental coach behaviors. In the current study, we proposed and tested a conditional process model of children’s self-reported behavioral engagement and behavioral disaffection in sport based on self-determination theory. Results from a sample of 245 youth soccer players suggested that structure from coaches related positively to behavioral engagement and negatively to behavioral disaffection, and that these relations were mediated by athletes’ basic psychological need satisfaction. Importantly, and in line with our hypotheses, these indirect effects were moderated by autonomy support from coaches, such that the mediation was evident only among those who reported higher levels of autonomy support. These findings underscore the importance of coaches’ providing guidance, expectations, and feedback (i.e., structure) in a way that respects athletes’ volition (i.e., autonomy support).
Women’s Exercise Experiences in Women-Only Gyms in Turkey: An Examination Within the Framework of Self-Determination Theory
Pinar Öztürk and Canan Koca
Although a growing body of evidence emphasizes the benefits of physical activity and exercise participation, diverse cultural, social and religious factors prevent girls and women from participating in physical activity and exercise. Recently, women-only gyms have become an important factor in promoting women’s participation in exercise in nonwestern countries, such as Turkey. This study examines the factors that affect the experiences of women who participate in exercise in a women-only gym, in Turkey, by applying self-determination theory (SDT) with a gender perspective. Data were collected through in-depth semistructured interviews with seventeen women and three women instructors and analyzed with thematic analysis. Identified themes are a) regulation of daily life: time of one’s own, b) structured exercise, and c) comfort of being in women-only environments. Findings show that women-only gym satisfies the three basic needs identified by SDT, and reproduce the relationship between exercise and femininity for women. This means that satisfaction of three needs, autonomy, competence, and relatedness, involves gendered meanings for women who exercise in women-only gyms.
Children’s Motivation Profiles in Sports and Physical Activities: A Latent Profile Analysis and Self-Determination Theory Approach
Annette Lohbeck, Andreas Hohmann, Philipp von Keitz, and Monika Daseking
( Marker et al., 2018 ) and psychological well-being ( Rodriguez-Ayllon et al., 2019 ). Numerous studies have used self-determination theory (SDT; Deci & Ryan, 1985 ; Ryan & Deci, 2020 ) to explain the relations between motivation and physical achievement ( Ntoumanis et al., 2021 ; Vasconcellos et
The Influence of Athletes’ Psychological Needs on Motivation, Burnout, and Well-Being: A Test of Self-Determination Theory
Stephen Shannon, Noel Brick, Garry Prentice, and Gavin Breslin
contemporary goal among policymakers, practitioners, and researchers ( Madigan et al., 2019 ). Theoretical frameworks can examine determinants and mediating factors associated with athletes’ mental health. Self-determination theory (SDT; Ryan & Deci, 2000 ) is one such validated and supported framework in the
Feasibility of a Self-Determination Theory-Based Exercise Program in Community-Dwelling South Korean Older Adults: Experiences from a 13-Month Trial
Minyoung Lee, Min Joo Kim, Dongwon Suh, Jungjin Kim, Eunkyoung Jo, and BumChul Yoon
Little is known about the effectiveness of self-determination theory (SDT), a representative motivational theory, on exercise domain in older adults. This feasibility study used quantitative and qualitative approaches to evaluate the effectiveness of a 13-month group exercise program applying SDT-based motivational strategies on exercise adherence, physical fitness, and quality of life, and to explore factors affecting exercise adherence in South Korean older adults (N = 18). Exercise attendance rate was high (82.52%). There were significant differences in aerobic endurance (p < .001), lower body strength (p < .05), dynamic balance (p < .001), and perceived social functioning (p < .05) at 13 months compared with baseline. Factors affecting exercise adherence were related to the SDT-based motivational strategies. These results support the importance of health professionals applying SDT-based motivational strategies to exercise programs to help facilitate motivation for participation and to promote physical fitness and quality of life in older adults.
Exploration of the Mechanisms of Change in Constructs From Self-Determination Theory and Quality of Life During a Multidisciplinary Family-Based Intervention for Overweight Adolescents
Ashley A. Fenner, Erin K. Howie, Leon M. Straker, and Martin S. Hagger
The current study explored whether a multidisciplinary family-based intervention underpinned by self-determination theory could enhance perceptions of parent need support, autonomous motivation, and quality of life in overweight and obese adolescents. Using a staggered-entry waitlist-period control design, adolescents (n = 56) were assessed at baseline and preintervention (within-participant control), immediately following intervention, and at 3, 6, and 12 month follow-ups. Parents were trained in need-supportive behaviors within the broader context of an 8-week multidisciplinary intervention attended jointly with adolescents. Following intervention, significant improvements were demonstrated in adolescent perceptions of parent need support, autonomous motivation, and quality of life, and changes were maintained at the 1-year follow-up. Mediation analyses revealed changes in perceptions of parent need support predicted changes in quality of life indirectly via changes in autonomous motivation. Findings suggest overweight and obese adolescents are likely to benefit from multidisciplinary family-based interventions that aim to train parents in need-supportive behaviors.
Self-Determination Theory: A Case Study of Evidence-Based Coaching
Clifford J. Mallett
The coach is central to the development of expertise in sport (Bloom, 1985) and is subsequently key to facilitating adaptive forms of motivation to enhance the quality of sport performance (Mallett & Hanrahan, 2004). In designing optimal training environments that are sensitive to the underlying motives of athletes, the coach requires an in-depth understanding of motivation. This paper reports on the application of self-determination theory (SDT; Deci & Ryan, 1985; Ryan & Deci, 2000) to coaching elite athletes. Specifically, the application of SDT to designing an autonomy-supportive motivational climate is outlined, which was used in preparing Australia’s two men’s relay teams for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.
Learning in Physical Education: A Self-Determination Theory Perspective
Haichun Sun, Weidong Li, and Bo Shen
The purpose of this study was to review the literature relevant to learning in physical education (PE) according to the self-determination theory (SDT). In this literature review, we first provide an overview of SDT. Second, we discuss students’ SDT-related motivational profiles in PE. Third, we illustrate the relationships among students’ perceptions of the nature of an autonomy-supportive or controlling learning environment, need satisfaction, and self-determined motivation. Fourth, we explore the impact of SDT on students’ learning in PE with respect to the cognitive, psychomotor, and affective learning domains. Finally, we articulate the pedagogical implications on the basis of the reviewed SDT research and future directions for SDT research in PE.
The Utilization of the Theory of Planned Behavior and Self-Determination Theory to Improve Physical Activity Following Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction
Rachel R. Kleis, Matthew C. Hoch, Deirdre Dlugonski, and Johanna M. Hoch
Key Points ▸ Individuals with a history of anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction demonstrate decreased physical activity levels. ▸ The Theory of Planned Behavior and Self-Determination Theory have been utilized to predict and increase physical activity patterns. ▸ An integrated theoretical