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Open AccessArticle

The Importance of Supporting Student Autonomy in Physical Education Classes to Improve Intention to Be Physically Active

1
Sports Studies Centre, Rey Juan Carlos University, 28032 Madrid, Spain
2
Department of Psychology, Sociology and Social Work, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 35004 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
3
Didactic and Behavioural Analysis in Sport Research Group, Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Extremadura, 10003 Cáceres, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4251; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104251
Received: 8 April 2020 / Revised: 12 May 2020 / Accepted: 15 May 2020 / Published: 22 May 2020
This study sought to analyze the predictive power of supporting student autonomy in physical education classes on the intention to be physically active based on motivational variables. The Self-Determination Theory was used as a theoretical framework. The study sample comprised 922 students of both sexes, aged between 14 and 18 years old (M = 14.95, SD = 0.98). Several questionnaires were applied to analyze the measured variables. The results of the model of structural equations revealed that students’ perceived autonomy support positively and significantly predicted the satisfaction of the BPN (autonomy, competence and social relations). These, in turn, positively and significantly predicted autonomous motivation; and lastly, the most self-determined type of motivation positively and significantly predicted the intention to be physically active. This finding emphasizes the importance of establishing motivational strategies to support students’ autonomy via the satisfaction of psychological needs, enhancing autonomous motivation and, as a consequence, increasing students’ intention to practice physical activity. View Full-Text
Keywords: structural equation modeling; self-determination theory; motivation; basic psychological needs structural equation modeling; self-determination theory; motivation; basic psychological needs
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MDPI and ACS Style

Leyton-Román, M.; Núñez, J.L.; Jiménez-Castuera, R. The Importance of Supporting Student Autonomy in Physical Education Classes to Improve Intention to Be Physically Active. Sustainability 2020, 12, 4251.

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