The Role of Controlled Motivation in the Self-Esteem of Adolescent Students in Physical Education Classes

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Nov 4;18(21):11602. doi: 10.3390/ijerph182111602.


The aim of this cross-sectional study was to analyse the relationships between the satisfaction of psychological basic needs, physical education, academic controlling motivation, and self-esteem, and to propose a prediction model in line with the postulates from the hierarchical model found in the self-determination theory. The participants were 618 physical education students from primary and secondary school (317 girls and 301 boys) aged between 10 and 14 years old (M = 11.62; SD = 0.94). The questionnaires basic psychological needs in exercise measurement scale (BPNES), perceived locus of causality scale (PLOC), the academic motivation scale (EME), and physical self-perception profile (PSPP) were used to measure the studied variables. The results showed that autonomy and relatedness significantly and negatively predicted physical education controlling motivation, which predicted a positive and significant academic controlling motivation. This, in turn, negatively and significantly predicted self-esteem. It is concluded that it is essential to avoid controlling motivation to promote the development of a positive self-perception in students.

Keywords: autonomy; behaviours; competence; psychological needs; relatedness; school; teaching.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motivation*
  • Personal Autonomy
  • Physical Education and Training*
  • Self Concept
  • Students