Title

Self-determined motivation and students' physical activity during structured physical education lessons and free choice periods

Publication Date

2009

Abstract

Objective: Various organizations have suggested that physical education (PE) should play a central role in increasing adolescents' physical activity (PA) levels. The purpose of this study was to examine relationships between students' self-determined motivation and their PA behavior during a structured PE lesson led by their teacher and a free-choice period in which they were not required to be active. Methods: 528 Hong Kong students (mean age = 15.78 years) participated in this study in April and May 2007. Situational Motivation Scale scores were used to form high and low self-determined motivation groups. Students wore a pedometer during a 20-minute structured basketball lesson and a 20-minute free choice period, during which they did not receive instruction. Results: ANOVA revealed that self-determined motivation and PE class environments which provided students opportunities to make choices were related to greater PA. Furthermore, the difference in PA between the high and low self-determined groups was greater in the free-choice condition than the structured lesson, suggesting that self-determined motivation is especially important when students are not supervised. Conclusion: Findings indicated that promoting self-determined motivation may be an effective means of ensuring that PE programs are able to increase PA levels, foster self-initiated PA behaviors, and enhance adolescents' health.

School/Institute

Institute for Positive Psychology and Education

Document Type

Journal Article

Access Rights

ERA Access

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