Master of Science (MS)



Document Type



College activity courses present an opportunity for physical educators to increase physical activity among young adults. Facilitating motivation in activity courses may lead to increased engagement and future participation in physical activities. The purpose of this study was to examine motivation in college activity courses utilizing a multi-theoretical approach in order to assess changes in physical self-concept and intention for participation in physical activities. It was hypothesized that a task-involved motivational climate would predict need satisfaction, which would in turn predict self-determined motivation. It was further hypothesized that this motivational sequence would predict changes in physical self-concept and intention to engage in physical activity. Participants were 370 college students (300 female, 70 male; M= 20.4±1.3 years) enrolled in physical activity classes at a large university in the Southeastern United States. They completed questionnaires assessing physical self-concept and intention at the beginning of the semester. At the end of the semester, participants completed questionnaires assessing physical self-concept, intention, perceptions of the motivational climate, basic psychological need satisfaction, and self-determined motivation. Path analysis and bivariate correlations were used to analyze the relationships among variables. Residual gain scores were calculated for physical self-concept and intention as a measure of change over time (Prochaska, Velicer, Nigg, & Prochaska, 2008). In path analysis, the hypothesized model represented a good fit for the data (S-B . χ² (8) 5.72, p= .68; CFI= .99; RMSEA= .01; SRMR= .026). The motivational sequence represented by the model predicted changes in physical self concept, but not intention. The modification index indicated that a direct path between basic psychological need satisfaction and intention would improve the hypothesized model (Beta= .33; p< .01). A task-involved climate had a significant indirect effect on self-determined motivation and changes in intention. An ego-involved climate had a negative relationship with basic psychological need satisfaction, self-determined motivation, and intention. Results of this study highlight the importance of facilitating a task-involved climate that satisfies basic psychological needs in order to elicit positive changes in physical self-concept and intention to participate in physical activities among young adults enrolled in college activity courses.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Solmon, Melinda



Included in

Kinesiology Commons