Participation of Youth in Physical Education from the Perspective of Self-Determination Theory
Purpose. The purpose of the study was to determine whether perceived competence, autonomy and relatedness are correlated with behavioral regulations proposed in the self-determination theory; and to examine effects of these regulations on the intention to fully participate in physical education lessons and on experiencing boredom during them. Basic procedures. The study used a crosssectional analysis. A total of 293 middle- and high-school students took part in the experiment. Participation in the study was anonymous and voluntary. The data was analyzed using structural equation modeling (path analysis). Main findings. Out of the theorized psychological mediators of behavioral regulations only perceived competence and relatedness turned out to be statistically significant. Perceived competence was the strongest predictor of both intrinsic motivation (positive) and amotivation (negative). As a consequence of behavioral regulations, intention to participate was positively predicted by intrinsic motivation and negatively by amotivation, whereas boredom was negatively predicted by intrinsic motivation and positively by amotivation. Conclusions. To support students' intentions to fully participate in physical education classes and to reduce boredom experienced during them PE teachers should promote students' intrinsic motivation to participate in physical education. This can be possible when perceived physical competence in the PE context is supported and positive interpersonal relationships between students are promoted.
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