Need support, need satisfaction and types of motivation in Physical Education for children aged 8 to 13. Development and preliminary validation of the German SMoPE-instrument
More self-determined motivation of young children in physical education (PE) has been shown to improve physical activity through the lifespan. According to Self-Determination Theory, an educational environment that supports the three basic psychological needs of autonomy, competence, and relatedness is expected to facilitate need satisfaction and, therefore, more self-determined types of motivation. However, thus far there are no appropriate instruments to investigate the psychological need support, need satisfaction, and motivation for younger students simultaneously. The present study aims to develop and preliminarily validate the German SMoPE-instrument (Students’ motivation in Physical Education) for the constructs need support, need satisfaction, and types of motivation for 8-13-year-old children in PE. Therefore, after a cognitive lab study, N = 1,011 students from grade 3 to 6 answered a questionnaire with items that based on research in the field of extracurricular sports with regard to the three constructs. The result is a questionnaire of 33 items including three need-support-subscales, three need-satisfaction-subscales and five subscales regarding the types of motivation. Confirmatory factor analyses with acceptable to excellent fit indices for all scales as well as a satisfactory simplex structure concerning the types of motivation support the suitability of the constructs. In addition, multiple regression analyses show positive relationships between the support of competence and both intrinsic and identified motivation. Consistent with theoretical considerations, both relationships were partially mediated by the satisfaction of competence.
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