Title page for ETD etd-03282006-161207

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Bryan, Charity Leigh
Author's Email Address cbryan7@lsu.edu
URN etd-03282006-161207
Title Self-Determination in Physical Education: Designing Class Environments to Promote Active Lifestyles
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Kinesiology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Melinda A. Solmon Committee Chair
Amelia M. Lee Committee Member
Louis Harrison, Jr. Committee Member
Maria Kosma Committee Member
Jim Belanger Dean's Representative
  • physical activity
  • physical education
  • motivation
Date of Defense 2006-03-27
Availability unrestricted
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships between self-determination, perceptions of the motivational climate, attitude, perceived ability, engagement in physical activity, and health-related fitness indicators. Two structural models related to engagement/intention to engage in physical activity and health-related fitness were tested. The premise of both models is that perceived competence predicts the outcome variables (engagement or health-related fitness), with self-determination, attitude, and motivational climate predicting perceived competence.

Participants were 827 sixth, seventh, and eighth graders. Motivation, perceptions of the climate, attitude, perceived competence, and self-reported physical activity levels were assessed using surveys. Pedometers were used to record steps taken during physical education classes to obtain a quantifiable measure of physical activity. Body mass index and skinfold measures were used to assess body composition, and a measure of cardiovascular endurance was also collected.

Perceptions of competence were related to both engagement and health indicators. Engagement and health indicators were also indirectly affected by the motivational climate, where the focus was on learning and mastery. This study suggests that providing a learning climate and structuring the environment so that students can be successful in their physical education endeavors fosters active engagement and is positively associated with health related components of fitness.

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