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Different combinations of perceived autonomy support and control : identifying the most optimal motivating style

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Abstract
Background: According to Self-Determination Theory, teachers and sport coaches can differ in the motivating style they rely upon to motivate young people. When endorsing an autonomy-supportive motivating style, instructors try to identify, vitalize, and nurture youngsters' inner motivational resources. In contrast, instructors with a dominant controlling motivating style rather pressure youngsters to think, feel, or behave in prescribed ways. While the dimensions of autonomy support and control can be conceptually differentiated, in reality both dimensions may co-occur to different degrees. Purpose: The present study investigates to what extent perceived autonomy support and control can be combined and which motivating style then yields the most optimal pattern of outcomes. Research design: Multi-Study with Cross-Sectional Design. Findings: In two studies, conducted among elite athletes (N=202; M-age=15.63; SD=1.70) and students in physical education (N=647; M-age=13.27; SD=0.68) reporting on their instructor's motivating style, cluster analyses systematically pointed towards the extraction of four motivating profiles. Two of these groups were characterized by the dominant presence of either autonomy support (i.e. high-autonomy support) or control (i.e. high control), while the two dimensions were found to be equally present in the two remaining groups (i.e. high-high or low-low). Results revealed that the high-autonomy support group showed to the most optimal pattern of outcomes (e.g. need satisfaction, autonomous motivation), while the high-control group yielded the least optimal pattern of outcomes. Results further showed that perceiving one's instructor as high on control is detrimental (e.g. higher need frustration, amotivation) even when the instructor is additionally perceived to be autonomy-supportive. Finally, it appeared better to be relatively uninvolved than to be perceived as exclusively high on control. Conclusions: When coaches or teachers are perceived to be high on autonomy support and low on control, this is likely to benefit youngsters' motivation and well-being. Also, while some instructors, particularly those who are functioning in a more competitive context where pressure is considered more normative, may endorse the belief that the combination of autonomy support and control yields the most effective cocktail to motivate young people (e.g. using competitive and game-based activities to make it fun, while treating the losers' with punishments such as push-ups or humiliating comments), this perspective is not supported by the findings of the current study. Apart, from its theoretical relevance, the findings of the present study are valuable for future intervention development.
Keywords
PHYSICAL-EDUCATION TEACHERS, SELF-DETERMINATION THEORY, TEACHING BEHAVIORS, NEED SATISFACTION, STUDENTS, ENGAGEMENT, SCHOOL, SPORT, INTERVENTION, PERCEPTIONS, Profile, motivation, needs, coach, teacher

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MLA
Haerens, Leen et al. “Different Combinations of Perceived Autonomy Support and Control : Identifying the Most Optimal Motivating Style.” PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND SPORT PEDAGOGY 23.1 (2018): 16–36. Print.
APA
Haerens, L., Vansteenkiste, M., De Meester, A., Delrue, J., Tallir, I., Vande Broek, G., Goris, W., et al. (2018). Different combinations of perceived autonomy support and control : identifying the most optimal motivating style. PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND SPORT PEDAGOGY, 23(1), 16–36.
Chicago author-date
Haerens, Leen, Maarten Vansteenkiste, An De Meester, Jochen Delrue, Isabel Tallir, G Vande Broek, W Goris, and Nathalie Aelterman. 2018. “Different Combinations of Perceived Autonomy Support and Control : Identifying the Most Optimal Motivating Style.” Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy 23 (1): 16–36.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Haerens, Leen, Maarten Vansteenkiste, An De Meester, Jochen Delrue, Isabel Tallir, G Vande Broek, W Goris, and Nathalie Aelterman. 2018. “Different Combinations of Perceived Autonomy Support and Control : Identifying the Most Optimal Motivating Style.” Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy 23 (1): 16–36.
Vancouver
1.
Haerens L, Vansteenkiste M, De Meester A, Delrue J, Tallir I, Vande Broek G, et al. Different combinations of perceived autonomy support and control : identifying the most optimal motivating style. PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND SPORT PEDAGOGY. 2018;23(1):16–36.
IEEE
[1]
L. Haerens et al., “Different combinations of perceived autonomy support and control : identifying the most optimal motivating style,” PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND SPORT PEDAGOGY, vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 16–36, 2018.
@article{8550733,
  abstract     = {Background: According to Self-Determination Theory, teachers and sport coaches can differ in the motivating style they rely upon to motivate young people. When endorsing an autonomy-supportive motivating style, instructors try to identify, vitalize, and nurture youngsters' inner motivational resources. In contrast, instructors with a dominant controlling motivating style rather pressure youngsters to think, feel, or behave in prescribed ways. While the dimensions of autonomy support and control can be conceptually differentiated, in reality both dimensions may co-occur to different degrees.
Purpose: The present study investigates to what extent perceived autonomy support and control can be combined and which motivating style then yields the most optimal pattern of outcomes.
Research design: Multi-Study with Cross-Sectional Design.
Findings: In two studies, conducted among elite athletes (N=202; M-age=15.63; SD=1.70) and students in physical education (N=647; M-age=13.27; SD=0.68) reporting on their instructor's motivating style, cluster analyses systematically pointed towards the extraction of four motivating profiles. Two of these groups were characterized by the dominant presence of either autonomy support (i.e. high-autonomy support) or control (i.e. high control), while the two dimensions were found to be equally present in the two remaining groups (i.e. high-high or low-low). Results revealed that the high-autonomy support group showed to the most optimal pattern of outcomes (e.g. need satisfaction, autonomous motivation), while the high-control group yielded the least optimal pattern of outcomes. Results further showed that perceiving one's instructor as high on control is detrimental (e.g. higher need frustration, amotivation) even when the instructor is additionally perceived to be autonomy-supportive. Finally, it appeared better to be relatively uninvolved than to be perceived as exclusively high on control.
Conclusions: When coaches or teachers are perceived to be high on autonomy support and low on control, this is likely to benefit youngsters' motivation and well-being. Also, while some instructors, particularly those who are functioning in a more competitive context where pressure is considered more normative, may endorse the belief that the combination of autonomy support and control yields the most effective cocktail to motivate young people (e.g. using competitive and game-based activities to make it fun, while treating the losers' with punishments such as push-ups or humiliating comments), this perspective is not supported by the findings of the current study. Apart, from its theoretical relevance, the findings of the present study are valuable for future intervention development.},
  author       = {Haerens, Leen and Vansteenkiste, Maarten and De Meester, An and Delrue, Jochen and Tallir, Isabel and Vande Broek, G and Goris, W and Aelterman, Nathalie},
  issn         = {1740-8989},
  journal      = {PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND SPORT PEDAGOGY},
  keywords     = {PHYSICAL-EDUCATION TEACHERS,SELF-DETERMINATION THEORY,TEACHING BEHAVIORS,NEED SATISFACTION,STUDENTS,ENGAGEMENT,SCHOOL,SPORT,INTERVENTION,PERCEPTIONS,Profile,motivation,needs,coach,teacher},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {16--36},
  title        = {Different combinations of perceived autonomy support and control : identifying the most optimal motivating style},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17408989.2017.1346070},
  volume       = {23},
  year         = {2018},
}

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