Students' motivational profiles in the physical education context

John C.K. Wang, Alexandre J.S. Morin, Richard M. Ryan, W. C. Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of the current study is to test the self-determination theory (SDT) continuum hypothesis of motivation using latent profile analysis (LPA). A total of 3,220 school students took part in the study. We compared LPA solutions estimated using the four motivation types versus the two higher-order dimensions to assess their degree of correspondence to the SDT continuum hypothesis. To examine the concurrent validity of the profiles, we also verified their associations with three predictors (age, gender, perception of physical education teachers' autonomy-supportive behaviors) and two outcomes variables (perceived competence and intentions to be physically active). The results showed that profiling using the four motivation types provides more differentiated and meaningful description of responses to the Perceived Locus of Causality Scale, compared with profiling using two higher-order factors. In general, the results of the current study were consistent with the SDT continuum hypothesis of human motivation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)612-630
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Volume38
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2016

Keywords

  • Continuum hypothesis
  • Latent profile analysis
  • Perceived locus of causality
  • Self-determination continuum

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