Social, environmental and cognitive-motivational processes that promote engagement in physical activity in youth

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Colleges, School and Institutes


The health benefits of physical activity for young people are widely recognized. This chapter presents a brief review of self-determination theory (SDT) and its major constructs and tenets. It discusses the measurement of physical activity followed by the current research findings in school, home, and sport environments and limitations of existing research and future directions. It then highlights key research studies conducted within the domains of school, home/leisure time, and youth sport, which have contributed toward knowledge regarding the role of SDT for encouraging health-enhancing physical activity in children and adolescents. The chapter also includes examples of cross-sectional and prospective studies that have examined the relationships between the social environment and/or quality of motivation, with engagement in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Finally it highlights interventions guided by SDT and discusses their efficacy for promoting moderate- to-vigorous physical activity among youth. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAPA handbook of sport and exercise psychology, volume 2: Exercise psychology, Vol. 2
Publication statusPublished - 2019