A Review of Observational Instruments to Assess the Motivational Environment in Sport and Physical Education Settings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University of Northampton
  • Curtin University


To date, the majority of research grounded in Achievement Goal frameworks (AGT) and Self-determination Theory (SDT), which has examined the coach-created motivational environment and its correlates, has relied exclusively on athletes’ self-reported perceptions. This limits progress in the field as objective data on real-life events could be used to further identify what coaches and teachers do and say to ‘motivate’ their athletes and students to influence their skill development, performance and well-being. Such information may help inform how coaches and teachers should be trained to create more motivationally adaptive environments and could help extend results derived from self-report measures. This review
outlines the observational systems that are currently available and the research related to AGT and/or SDT-based objective assessments of motivational dimensions of the coaching and physical education (PE) environment. Future research could utilise information in this review to employ and/or amend one of the available observation systems to address important questions related to the observed motivational environment in sport and PE.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-159
JournalInternational Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2016