Pupils’ experiences of autonomy, competence and relatedness in a physical activity intervention

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Abstract

Introduction:Physicalactivityatschoolcanbebeneficialtoallchildren’spsychosocialwell-being,ifaninclusiveandsupportiveenvironmentiscreated.ThepurposeofthisstudywastoinvestigatehowpupilsexperiencedaschoolphysicalactivityinterventionbasedonSelf-DeterminationTheoryandtoassesshowitaffectedthepupils’senseofcompetence,autonomyandrelatedness.
Methods:Themulticomponentinterventioncomprisedrecess,in-classactivitiesandPEandlastedoneschoolyear.Twogradefourclasses(ages9–10)andtwogradesixclasses(ages12–13)attwoparticipatingschoolswereselectedforaqualitativecasestudy.Tensemi-structuredfocusgroupinterviewswerecarriedout,involving36pupils.Thedatawereanalysedbasedontheprinciplesofdeductivecontentanalysis
Results: Findings showed that the pupils’ sense of relatedness was central to well-being and influenced their sense of competence and autonomy. Changing the physical activity climate to focus on competence development instead of competition was challenging, but resulted in positive experiences, especially for pupils with limited motivation. Finally, while being given influence and choice evidently promoted the sense of autonomy, some pupils felt uncomfortable with a responsibility involving others.
Conclusion: The findings from the current study support the basic principles of SDT, and point to some practical challenges in implementing a SDT-based PA intervention in a Danish school setting. A socially inclusive environment was found to be crucial to pupils’ well-being at school, and influenced the sense of both competence and autonomy.
Original languageDanish
Publication date16. Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 16. Oct 2018
Event7th ISPAH Congress - Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 15. Oct 201817. Oct 2018
https://www.phe-events.org.uk/hpa/frontend/reg/tAgendaWebsite.csp?pageID=277578&ef_sel_menu=3275&eventID=671&mode=

Conference

Conference7th ISPAH Congress
LocationQueen Elizabeth II Conference Centre
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityLondon
Period15/10/201817/10/2018
Internet address

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