The Effect of A Ten-week Autonomy Practice on Autonomous Motivation and Willingness to Rely on Exercise

Javad Nourali, Rasul Hemat Talab, Mahmoud Shiekh, Fazlollah Bagherzadeh


Background: Internal motivation and autonomous external motivation are to some extent similar and both are opposed to non-autonomous external motivation. Objectives: The aim of the present study is to increase the efficiency of the physical education classes in further encouraging students to do physical activities outside school through determining the amount of the effect of autonomy-practice and non-autonomy-practice on autonomous motivation and perceived autonomy support in physical education. Methods: Participants in this study were students of two high schools (N=100; M=18.1±0.36) who were randomly placed in control and experimental groups. In the experimental group, the teacher taught students physical activities and the students had to perform them with desire and interest. But in the control group, physical activities were completely performed by the teacher and under his own supervision. The whole practice period was ten weeks. Two questionnaires, "sport motivation scale" (SMS) and "intention to partake in physical activity", were used. Results: The results showed that the effect of autonomy practice and non-autonomy practice on the linear combination of sport motivation and willingness is significant [F, (2, 95) =41.714, P=0.00]. They also showed that the effect of autonomy practice and non-autonomy practice on the linear combination of subscales of sport motivation was significant [F, (5, 89) =50.295, P=0.000]. Students of the experimental group showed a higher level of willingness and interest in physical education. Conclusions: Findings in this study are strong evidences indicating that both autonomous support and autonomous motivation are needed to maximize the effect of physical education classes.


autonomy, autonomous motivation, physical activity, physical education, self-determination theory

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