Special Issue "New Advances in Self-Determination Theory in Physical Education"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Global Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Angel Abos
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
EFYPAF “Physical Education and Physical Activity Promotion” Research Group, Faculty of Social and Human Sciences, University of Zaragoza, 44002 Teruel, Spain
Interests: physical education; teaching; motivation; physical activity; health-related behaviors; scales validation; quantitative methods
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Javier Sevil-Serrano
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
University of Granada
Interests: physical education; teaching; models-based practice; motivation; physical activity; health-related behaviors
Dr. Luis Garcia-Gonzalez
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
EFYPAF “Physical Education and Physical Activity Promotion” Research Group, Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences, University of Zaragoza, 22001 Huesca, Spain
Interests: physical education; teaching; models-based practice; motivation; physical activity; health-related behaviors
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Despite the well-known benefits of physical activity, it is acknowledged worldwide that more than three-quarters of adolescents are physically inactive. School and, particularly, physical education has been identified as an ideal setting to promote physical activity. Physical education may directly contribute to the accumulation of physical activity (i.e., directly), and also provide health literacy skills that empower adolescents to be physically active outside school (i.e., indirectly). Although multiple factors affect physical activity behavior, adolescents' motivational experiences in physical education have been identified as an important correlate of physical activity outside school. However, previous research has shown that not all students report positive experiences in physical education lessons. 

Self-determination theory (SDT) is a widely used framework in physical education that has been applied to understand the social and psychological factors that influence physical activity behavior. This theory posits that autonomy, competence, and relatedness are three basic psychological needs that must be satisfied to increase student self-determined motivation and, consequently, develop affective, cognitive, and behavioral outcomes in physical education. Conversely, basic psychological need frustration has been positively related to controlled motivation, amotivation, and an ample set of maladaptive affective, cognitive, and behavioral outcomes. According to SDT, physical education teachers can play a pivotal role in determining students’ motivational experiences. Yet, while numerous studies based on this theory have been published in physical education, there are still some gaps in research evidence that require further investigation. This Special Issue, therefore, will publish new advances in SDT within the physical education setting. 

Although studies related to SDT within physical education are welcome, special consideration will be given to the following topics that need further SDT-based research in this field: (1) new insights into motivating teaching style (e.g., circumplex approach, etc.); (2) potential needs candidates to be added to the basic psychological need theory (novelty, beneficence, etc.); (3) variables or psychological experiences (alongside basic psychological needs) that can influence the motivational process (variety, emotion regulation, personality traits, etc.); (4) relationship of student motivation with different affective, behavioral, and, particularly, cognitive outcomes (academic performance, learning strategies, etc.), as well as health-related behaviors such as physical activity; (5) “dark side” of students/teachers motivation (need-thwarting practices, psychological need frustration, amotivation, maladaptive outcomes); (6) self-determination theory-based interventions in physical education; (7) the validation of new SDT-based construct scales in physical education; (8) the role of gender in the motivational process; (9) the influence of teachers' motivation on student motivation; and (10) situational motivation in different teaching units. Quantitative, qualitative, and observational studies are welcome.

Dr. Angel Abos
Dr. Javier Sevil-Serrano
Dr. Luis Garcia-Gonzalez
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • self-determination theory
  • physical education
  • motivating teaching style
  • circumplex approach
  • basic psychological needs
  • novelty
  • variety
  • motivation
  • health-related behaviors
  • physical activity
  • dark-side
  • need frustration
  • validation
  • gender

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Article
The Relation between Physical Education Teachers’ (De-)Motivating Style, Students’ Motivation, and Students’ Physical Activity: A Multilevel Approach
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(14), 7457; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18147457 - 13 Jul 2021
Viewed by 560
Abstract
Research suggests that physical education (PE) teachers can play a crucial role in the promotion of students’ physical activity. Grounded in Self-Determination Theory, this study investigated how students’ perceptions of PE teachers (de-)motivating style relate to students’ device-based physical activity levels during PE. [...] Read more.
Research suggests that physical education (PE) teachers can play a crucial role in the promotion of students’ physical activity. Grounded in Self-Determination Theory, this study investigated how students’ perceptions of PE teachers (de-)motivating style relate to students’ device-based physical activity levels during PE. Moreover, it was examined whether students’ motivation plays an intervening role in this relation and whether students’ physical activity differs according to their gender and lesson topic. A sample of 302 secondary school students aged between 11 and 16 years (M = 13.05, SD = 1.04) completed a questionnaire assessing their perceptions of teachers’ (de-)motivating style and their personal motivation toward PE. Students also wore ActiGraph GT3X accelerometers during the PE lesson. Multilevel structural equation modeling revealed that the teachers’ motivating style had a significant positive relation with students’ autonomous motivation, both at the student level and the class level, and teachers’ controlling style had a significant positive relation with students’ controlled motivation and amotivation at both levels. However, in terms of students’ physical activity levels, students’ gender, the lesson topic, and teachers’ controlling style seemed to be more decisive than students’ motivation and teachers’ motivating style. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances in Self-Determination Theory in Physical Education)
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Article
Adopting the Situation in School Questionnaire to Examine Physical Education Teachers’ Motivating and Demotivating Styles Using a Circumplex Approach
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(14), 7342; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18147342 - 09 Jul 2021
Viewed by 651
Abstract
Grounded in SDT, several studies have highlighted the role of teachers’ motivating and demotivating styles for students’ motivation, learning, and physical activity in physical education (PE). However, most of these studies focused on a restricted number of motivating strategies (e.g., offering choice) or [...] Read more.
Grounded in SDT, several studies have highlighted the role of teachers’ motivating and demotivating styles for students’ motivation, learning, and physical activity in physical education (PE). However, most of these studies focused on a restricted number of motivating strategies (e.g., offering choice) or dimensions (e.g., autonomy support). Recently, researchers have developed the Situations-in-School (i.e., SIS-Education) questionnaire, which allows one to gain a more integrative and fine-grained insight into teachers’ engagement in autonomy-support, structure, control, and chaos through a circular structure (i.e., a circumplex). Although teaching in PE resembles teaching in academic courses in many ways, some of the items of the original situation-based questionnaire (e.g., regarding homework) are irrelevant to the PE context. In the present study, we therefore sought to develop a modified, PE-friendly version of this earlier validated SIS-questionnaire—the SIS-PE. Findings in a sample of Belgian (N = 136) and French (N = 259) PE teachers, examined together and as independent samples, showed that the variation in PE teachers’ motivating styles in this adapted version is also best captured by a circumplex structure, with four overarching styles and eight subareas differing in their level of need support and directiveness. The SIS-PE possesses excellent convergent and concurrent validity. With the adaptations being successful, great opportunities for future research on PE teachers (de-)motivating styles are created. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances in Self-Determination Theory in Physical Education)
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Article
Do Observed Teaching Behaviors Relate to Students’ Engagement in Physical Education?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(5), 2234; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18052234 - 24 Feb 2021
Viewed by 1028
Abstract
Teachers’ behaviors can affect students’ engagement in the Physical Education (PE) setting. According to self-determination theory, teachers can rely on either a need-supportive or a controlling teaching behavior, and these behaviors will differently affect students’ outcomes. The main objective of this research was [...] Read more.
Teachers’ behaviors can affect students’ engagement in the Physical Education (PE) setting. According to self-determination theory, teachers can rely on either a need-supportive or a controlling teaching behavior, and these behaviors will differently affect students’ outcomes. The main objective of this research was to analyse how teaching behaviors and some contextual variables influence students’ engagement in PE classes. The present study adds to the existing literature through an observation-based design in which real-life examples of need-supportive and thwarting teaching behaviors, as well as students’ engagement behaviors, have been identified. Thirty-seven different PE lessons were coded for 5-min intervals to assess the occurrence of 36 teaching behaviors and five students’ behaviors. Stepwise regression revealed that both structure during activity and relatedness support could predict student engagement in a positive way. Surprisingly, cold teaching also emerged as a direct predictor in the last step of the analysis. On the other hand, controlling and structure before activity behaviors inversely predicted students’ engagement. These four variables explained 39% of the variance in student engagement, whereas autonomy support did not correlate with student engagement. These new findings in the field not only confirm the known relevance of teaching behavior for students’ outcomes but also suggest an unexpected lack of influence of autonomy support on students’ engagement as well as an association between cold teaching and students’ engagement. Results are discussed in the light of new approaches, and some practical implications are provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances in Self-Determination Theory in Physical Education)
Article
Evaluating the Psychometric Properties of a Scale to Measure Perceived External and Internal Faces of Controlling Teaching among Students in Physical Education
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(1), 298; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18010298 - 03 Jan 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1394
Abstract
There are no validated instruments to date that have examined the students’ perceptions of externally and internally controlling teaching practices in physical education (PE). Grounded in self-determination theory, the objective of this research was to provide validity and reliability evidence of the Controlling [...] Read more.
There are no validated instruments to date that have examined the students’ perceptions of externally and internally controlling teaching practices in physical education (PE). Grounded in self-determination theory, the objective of this research was to provide validity and reliability evidence of the Controlling Teaching Scale for Physical Education (CTS-PE) to assess the external and internal faces of controlling teaching in PE through two sequential studies. In Study 1 (n = 241 students), an exploratory factor analysis revealed an eight-item two-factor solution (four items per factor). In Study 2 (n = 968 students), a confirmatory factor analysis supported the eight-item two-factor correlated model (i.e., externally and internally controlling teaching) that was invariant across gender. Reliability coefficients indicated an acceptable level of reliability for the two factors of the CTS-PE. A structural equation modelling showed that externally and internally controlling teaching behaviours positively predicted need frustration, and negatively need satisfaction. The current study gathered evidence to consider the CTS-PE as a valid and reliable instrument to assess students’ perceptions of PE teachers’ externally and internally controlling teaching behaviours. The CTS-PE provides PE teachers with deeper insights into the negative psychological experiences associated with externally and internally controlling teaching behaviours in PE. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances in Self-Determination Theory in Physical Education)
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Article
A Hybrid TGfU/SE Volleyball Teaching Unit for Enhancing Motivation in Physical Education: A Mixed-Method Approach
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(1), 110; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18010110 - 26 Dec 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1262
Abstract
Grounded in self-determination theory, this pre-experimental study analyzed the effects of a hybrid teaching games for understanding/sport education (TGfU/SE) volleyball teaching unit on students’ motivational outcomes, using a mixed-method approach. It also examined whether the intervention was equally effective for boys and girls. [...] Read more.
Grounded in self-determination theory, this pre-experimental study analyzed the effects of a hybrid teaching games for understanding/sport education (TGfU/SE) volleyball teaching unit on students’ motivational outcomes, using a mixed-method approach. It also examined whether the intervention was equally effective for boys and girls. Participants were 53 secondary school students (Mage = 15.50, SDage = 0.57) who were taught through a hybrid TGfU/SE unit. The structure of this unit was designed according to the characteristics of SE model, while learning tasks were designed by using the pedagogical principles of TGfU model. Both self-reported validated questionnaires and focus groups were used before and after intervention to assess students’ motivational responses. After the hybrid TGfU/SE unit, both quantitative and qualitative findings showed improvements in students’ perceptions of need-support from the physical education (PE) teacher, basic psychological needs satisfaction, novelty, and variety satisfaction, as well as intrinsic motivation compared to baseline values. Although the hybrid TGfU/SE unit was effective in both genders, a large effect size was found for girls. Despite the existence of social and cultural stereotypes in team sports such as volleyball in favor of boys, results highlight the importance of developing hybrid TGfU/SE units to improve students’ motivational outcomes, especially in girls. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances in Self-Determination Theory in Physical Education)
Article
The German Multi-Dimensional Perceived Autonomy Support Scale for Physical Education: Adaption and Validation in a Sample of Lower Track Secondary School Students
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(19), 7353; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17197353 - 08 Oct 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1478
Abstract
Teachers’ autonomy support (AS) in physical education (PE) has positive effects on students’ affective and behavioral outcomes in PE. Even though the existence of three different dimensions of AS, namely cognitive, organizational and procedural AS has been suggested in educational settings, there is [...] Read more.
Teachers’ autonomy support (AS) in physical education (PE) has positive effects on students’ affective and behavioral outcomes in PE. Even though the existence of three different dimensions of AS, namely cognitive, organizational and procedural AS has been suggested in educational settings, there is a lack of multidimensional instruments for the assessment of autonomy-supportive teaching in PE. The aim of this study was to validate the German Multi-Dimensional Perceived Autonomy Support Scale for Physical Education (MD-PASS-PE). The sample comprised 1030 students of grades 6 through 10. Internal consistency was used to test the reliability of the assumed subscales. Factorial validity and measurement invariance across gender and age were examined by confirmatory factor analyses. Structural equation modeling was used to evaluate criterion validity. The subscales exhibited acceptable to good internal consistency. The assumed three-factor structure was confirmed within a bi-factor model including a general factor and three specific group factors. Results strongly supported measurement invariance across gender while tentatively suggesting measurement invariance across age. Criterion validity was supported as the MD-PASS-PE explained 15% and 14% of the variance in the constructs of self-efficacy and intrinsic value, respectively. The German MD-PASS-PE provides PE teachers with deeper insights into their autonomy-supportive teaching behavior, helping them to support their students’ autonomy in a holistic way. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances in Self-Determination Theory in Physical Education)
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Article
The Relationship between Teachers and Peers’ Motivational Climates, Needs Satisfaction, and Physical Education Grades: An AGT and SDT Approach
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6145; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17176145 - 24 Aug 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1054
Abstract
Grounded in achievement goal theory and self-determination theory, this study aimed to examine the associations of students’ perception of learning- and performance-oriented climates created by teachers and peers on basic psychological needs satisfaction, and consequently their relationships with physical education grades. This study [...] Read more.
Grounded in achievement goal theory and self-determination theory, this study aimed to examine the associations of students’ perception of learning- and performance-oriented climates created by teachers and peers on basic psychological needs satisfaction, and consequently their relationships with physical education grades. This study had a cross-sectional design, and 589 students aged between 10 and 18 years (M = 12.93; SD = 1.49) were recruited for analysis. Participants completed a multisection survey assessing motivational climates and basic psychological needs, and physical education grades were provided by the physical education teacher. Students’ perception of learning-oriented climates created by teachers and peers was positively and significantly associated with basic psychological needs satisfaction. Additionally, these learning-oriented climates presented a significant indirect association with physical education grades. On the other hand, the performance-oriented climate created by teachers had a negative and significant relationship with basic psychological needs satisfaction and displayed a negative indirect relationship with physical education grades. The performance-oriented climate created by peers had a positive and significant relationship with basic psychological needs satisfaction and displayed a positive indirect relationship with physical education grades. The perception of performance-oriented climates created by peers could represent a boost within the students in physical education features. Teachers have the responsibility of promoting task and learning environments in which students experience positive outcomes, not only on a motivational level but also on a cognitive level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances in Self-Determination Theory in Physical Education)
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