Motivational climate interventions in physical education: a meta-analysis

Objective: The purpose of this study was to synthesize findings from motivational climate interventions employing Ames (1992a, 1992b) and Epstein’s (1988, 1989) TARGET framework within school-based physical education contexts. Design: The present study employed a quantitative research synthesis design. Meta-analysis uses empirical studies to summarize past research by drawing overall conclusions from separate investigations. This research design highlights important and unsolved issues related to motivational climate interventions within physical education. Methods: Standard meta-analytic procedures incorporating inclusion and exclusion criteria, literature search, coding procedures, and statistical methods were used to identify and synthesize 22 studies with 24 independent samples. Cohen’s (1988) criteria for effect sizes were used to interpret and evaluate results. Results: There was an overall small positive treatment effect (g ¼ 0.103) for groups exposed to mastery motivational climates. Outcome analyses identified the most consistent and largest overall treatment effects for behavioral outcomes (g ¼ 0.39e0.49) followed by affective outcomes (g¼ 0.27 to 0.59) and cognitive outcomes (g¼ 0.25 to 0.32). Moderator analyses were directed by study heterogeneity and identified several trends in intervention features and study features with the most substantial trend for participant features as elementary students had the largest overall treatment effect (g¼ 0.41). Conclusions: Outcome and moderator analyses identified several trends in methodological features, participant features, and study features that should be addressed in future physical education motivational climate interventions.