Motivational Profiles of High School Physical Education Students: The Role of Controlling Teacher Behavior

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 May 16;16(10):1714. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16101714.


(1) Background: The purpose of this study was to identify distinct motivational profiles in high school Physical Education students. These motivational profiles were examined in relation to controlling teacher behaviors, as well as to various psychological correlates including the perceived importance of physical activity to the student, student intentions to be physically active, psychological need satisfaction and current physical activity levels. (2) Methods: 416 high school Physical Education students comprised the sample. (3) Results: Cluster analysis and additional multivariate analyses revealed two motivational profiles, Wilk's Λ = 0.56, F (7, 431) = 45.50, p < 0.01. The "Self-Determined" profile was characterized by high levels of self-determined motivation; high levels of competence, autonomy and relatedness; importance of physical activity; stronger intentions to engage in physical activity; and greater current actual physical activity involvement. The "Less Self-Determined" profile was associated with the perception of controlling teacher behaviors, and with greater external regulation and amotivation. (4) Conclusions: These findings help to provide new insights into the explanation of student motivation in Physical Education and the design of intervention programs.

Keywords: motivation; secondary education; self-determination theory; teaching style.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Behavior
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Educational Personnel*
  • Exercise / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intention
  • Male
  • Motivation*
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Personal Autonomy
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Physical Education and Training*
  • Students / psychology*