Understanding amotivation in Physical Education
2016-07-06T11:10:42Z (GMT) by
Physical Education (PE) is one of the most important contexts in which to investigate motivational processes due to its exclusivity in including young people of a range of ages and abilities and due to PE being a compulsory activity. PE is not only a platform for students to increase their daily physical activity, but can also provide students with the skills and confidence to pursue physical activity into adulthood. However, there is an increasing amount of concern over the levels of physical activity of young people today, with statistics showing a decline in physical activity among adolescence. Understanding student s motivational processes during PE may help researchers and physical educators intervene to provide support to those students who are not motivated to participate in PE lessons. Grounded in self-determination theory, this thesis aims to examine student s amotivation in PE. Although there is growing evidence investigating amotivation, there is a dearth of knowledge concerning amotivation in the PE context and as a multidimensional construct. This thesis therefore aims to address this lack of knowledge by exploring a measure of amotivation that can be used in PE and relationships between the four amotivation dimensions (deficient ability beliefs, deficient effort beliefs, insufficient task values and unappealing task characteristics), physical self-concept and attainment (Study 1). Following Study 1, an examination of student s perceptions of teacher s need support as a predictor of change in the amotivation dimensions over time is carried out in Study 2, followed by further investigations to determine additional socio-contextual variables that may be potential predictors of amotivated behaviours (Studies 3a, 3b, 4). The results of these five studies contained within the thesis provide an interesting insight into student s amotivation in PE. Evidence for perceptions of teacher s psychological need support, physical self-concept and peer motivational climate being influential in determining changes in the amotivation sub-types is presented. The findings highlight the need to investigate these relationships further so a more comprehensive understanding of amotivation is achieved. Future research should continue to employ longitudinal designs to identify additional predictors of amotivation and to ensure research into amotivation is substantial in order to design effective interventions to support physical educators in reducing amotivated behaviours.