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Motivation in physical education across the primary-secondary school transition

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journal contribution
posted on 03.01.2013, 13:52 by Victoria E. Warburton, Christopher SprayChristopher Spray
The purpose of this study was to examine the temporal patterns of approach-avoidance achievement goals, implicit theories of ability and perceived competence in physical education across the transition from primary to secondary school. We also evaluated the predictive utility of implicit theories and perceived competence with regard to achievement goal adoption, and determined the moderating influence of gender on temporal patterns and antecedent—goal relationships. One hundred and forty pupils (mean age at start of study = 11.37 years, SD = .28) completed measures of entity and incremental beliefs, perceived competence and goals on four occasions during a 12-month period. Mastery-approach, performance-approach and performance-avoidance goals, as well as entity and incremental beliefs, exhibited a linear decline over time. Mastery-avoidance goals showed no significant change. Girls exhibited a linear decline in perceived competence, whereas for boys the trajectory was curvilinear. Competence perceptions predicted initial scores, but not rate of change, on mastery-approach and both types of performance goals. Incremental beliefs predicted rate of change in mastery-approach goal adoption, whereas entity beliefs were associated with changes in performance-avoidance goals and initial scores on performance-approach goals. Limited differences between boys and girls in these antecedent—goal relationships were observed.



  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences


WARBURTON, V.E. and SPRAY, C.M., 2008. Motivation in physical education across the primary-secondary school transition. European Physical Education Review, 14 (2), pp. 157 - 178.


© North West Counties Physical Education Association and Sage Publications


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This article was published in the journal European Physical Education Review [© North West Counties Physical Education Association and Sage Publications]. The definitive version is available at:http://epe.sagepub.com/content/14/2/157.short