Mastery Motivational Climate: Influencing Vocational Students' Enjoyment of Physical Activity

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Background/Purpose: Physical activity in children declines more than a third from 9-15 years of age (Nader et al., 2008). Consequently, drug abuse and smoking have taken a backseat to obesity the top health concern for parents in the United States because of its link to disease (American Heart Association, 2010). Children of particular concern are vocational high school students, because their career lifestyle may be linked to poor health habits, such as low physical activity (AHA, 2010; Pampel, et al., 2010). Exposing these students to a mastery motivational climate classroom (e.g., Duda, 1996; Grasten, et al., 2012, Ntoumanis & Biddle, 1999) may increase physical activity enjoyment, thus physical activity during adolescence and perhaps lifelong physical activity habits. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of a mastery motivational physical education classroom climate on vocational students' physical activity enjoyment.

Method: Eight-four (males = 53, females = 31) first year students who attended a New England vocational school were randomly selected as participants. Institutional review board approval was obtained from Bridgewater State University prior to conducting research. A hybrid of the Sport Education Model and Teaching Games for Understanding Model was used to create a mastery motivational climate. Pre and post measures of the participants' perceptions of motivational climate and physical activity enjoyment were assessed using the Perceived Motivational in Sport Questionnaire (Newton, Duda, & Yin, 2000) and the five question Physical Activity Enjoyment Scale (Raedeke, T.D. & Amorose, A.J., 2013). A series of paired samples t-test with appropriate Bonferroni corrections determined significant post-intervention changes.

Analysis/Results: Findings suggested that students perceived a significantly greater mastery motivational climate (post = 3.72+1.03; pre = 3.44+1.08 {p = .032} and a significantly higher level of physical activity enjoyment (post = 4.98+1.68; pre = 4.28+1.98 {p = < .001} compared to the pre-tests. Females (4.25+0.94) perceived a significantly greater {p = .008} mastery motivational climate than males (3.69+1.05); both had significantly higher {female p = .008; male p = .001} physical activity enjoyment levels (female 4.99+1.67; male 5.01+1.67).

Conclusions: Mastery motivational climate created through the hybrid SEM/TGFU Models effectively increased vocational students' physical activity enjoyment levels, especially for female students. Future vocational student health may benefit from exposure to a mastery motivational climate in physical education as it could influence the development of lifelong physical activity habits.

Original Citation

Hohengasser, L.C. & Russell, P.J. (2015). Mastery Motivational Climate: Influencing Vocational Students' Enjoyment of Physical Activity. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport 86(S2), A30-A31.