Motivational clusters in a sample of British physical education classes

Nikolaos Ntoumanis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

135 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Based on recommendations from a recent review of self-determination theory (Vallerand, R. J. (1997). In: M. Zanna (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (pp. 271-360). New York: Academic Press) the present study aimed to uncover the different motivational profiles in physical education. It was expected that at least two motivational profiles would emerge: a self-determined profile and a controlling motivation/amotivation profile. Design: Cross-sectional survey. Method: Questionnaires were administered to 428 British students, aged between 14 and 16 years, from two schools in the Northwest of England. Results: A cluster analysis produced three motivational profiles in the first school, which were replicated in the second school. The first was named the `self-determined profile' because the students displayed high self-determined motivation, effort, enjoyment, and cooperative learning, and low controlling motivation, amotivation, boredom, and unequal recognition. The second profile was the 'moderate motivation profile' with moderate scores on all variables measured. The third was named the 'controlling motivation/amotivation' profile because the students demonstrated high controlling motivation, amotivation, boredom, and unequal recognition, and low self-determined motivation, effort, and enjoyment. Conclusions: The results demonstrate the importance of developing self-determination in physical education, as it is associated with desirable behavioural and affective outcomes. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-194
Number of pages18
JournalPsychology of Sport and Exercise
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2002


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