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J Sports Sci Med. 2012 Jun 1;11(2):260-9. eCollection 2012.

Prediction of enjoyment in school physical education.

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Department of Sport Sciences, University of Jyvaskyla , Finland.


The specific aim of this study was to examine whether motivational climate, perceived physical competence, and exercise motivation predict enjoyment in school physical education within the same sample of adolescents across three years of secondary school. A sample of 639 students (girls = 296, boys = 343) aged between 13- to 15-years at the commencement of the study completed the Intrinsic Motivation Climate in Physical Education Questionnaire, Physical Self-Perception Profile, Physical Education Motivation Scale, and Physical Education Enjoyment Scale. Results derived from path analyses indicated that task-involving motivational climate predicted enjoyment in physical education via perceived physical competence and intrinsic motivation in both girls and boys. In particular, these results supported previous findings of Vallerand et. al (1997) with the self-determination theory and the achievement goal theory. Ego-involving climate was not a significant predictor either in girls or boys. The current results provide continuing support for the investigation of Vallerand's model in the physical education setting, and highlight that motivational climate is an area that requires further evaluation as a contributing factor in the improvement of physical education teaching. A better understanding of the role of motivational climate may assist efforts to promote children's and adolescents' perceived physical competence, intrinsic motivation, and enjoyment in the school physical education setting. Key pointsThe findings of the current study support existing suggestions of Vallerand's (1997) model in which social factors mediated by a psychological mediator, and exercise motivation are related to positive consequences in the PE context.Task-involving motivational climate predicted PE enjoyment via perceived physical competence and intrinsic motivation with both girls and boys. Task-involving motivational climate in PE lessons at Grade 7 had a strong association with PE enjoyment via perceived physical competence and intrinsic motivation at Grade 9 for both girls and boys.Ego-involving climate did not fit either the data for the girls or boys, as PE lessons based on ego-involving motivational climate did not significantly influence on the level of PE enjoyment.The results of the current study and previous practical findings support task-involving teaching methods to promote adolescent's PE enjoyment through secondary school years. School PE could be most effective if based on task-involving motivational climate, in which the main objective is increasing students' perceived physical competence, intrinsic motivation, and enjoyment.


enjoyment; motivation; path analysis; physical education; school


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