Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2016) 15, 460 - 466

Research article
Effect of Autonomy Support on Self-Determined Motivation in Elementary Physical Education
Yu-Kai Chang1, Senlin Chen2, , Kun-Wei Tu1, Li-Kang Chi3
Author Information
1 Graduate Institute of Athletics and Coaching Science, National Taiwan Sport University, Taiwan
2 Department of Kinesiology, Iowa State University, USA
3 Department of Physical Education, National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan

Senlin Chen
✉ 255 Forker Building, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, USA 50011.
Publish Date
Received: 29-02-2016
Accepted: 29-05-2016
Published (online): 05-08-2016
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Using the quasi-experimental design, this study examined the effect of autonomy support on self-determined motivation in elementary school physical education (PE) students. One hundred and twenty six participants were assigned to either the autonomy support group (n = 61) or the control group (n = 65) for a six-week intervention period. Perceived teacher autonomy, perceived autonomy in PE, and self-determined motivation in PE were pre- and post-tested using validated questionnaires. Significant increases in perceived teacher autonomy and perceived autonomy in PE were observed in the autonomy support group, but not in the control group. Intrinsic motivation was higher in the autonomy support group than that in the control group. From an experimental perspective, these findings suggest that the autonomy support was successfully manipulated in the PE classes, which in turn increased the students’ perceived autonomy and intrinsic motivation.

Key words: Intrinsic motivation, perceived autonomy, self-determination theory

           Key Points
  • The SDT is a relevant theoretical framework for elementary school physical education.
  • Using the quasi-experimental research design, this study is one of the earlies studies supporting that elementary school PE teachers can manipulate the instructional context using the SDT to increase students’ perceived autonomy and intrinsic motivation.
  • Increasing students’ perceived autonomy may not lead to significant changes in other SDT constructs (i.e., amotivation, external regulation, introjected regulation, and identified regulation).
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