Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation


Physical Education

First Advisor

Eva A. Monsma


In order to determine if physical education classes can influence PA intentions and potentially impact obesity prevalence, two studies were carried out, using constructs of Self-Determination and Achievement Goal Theories to uncover variables related to learning in physical education and PA intentions. The purpose of study 1 was to determine predictors of PA intentions, including goal orientations (GO), motivational climate (MC), perceived autonomy support (PAS), basic need satisfaction (BNS), self-determined motivation (SDM), teaching style, student BMI, and physical fitness achievement (PFA) and to investigate differences in these physical and motivational characteristics by teaching style. The purpose of study 2 was to employ MIMIC modeling to examine the influence of student physical and motivational characteristics, performance in the learning domains of physical education, and PA intentions while considering teachers' autonomy supportive behaviors. High school PE teachers (n=4) were observed over a 6-week volleyball unit, as their respective students (n=140) completed surveys measuring GO, MC, PAS, BNS, SDM, and PA intentions and tests of performance in the learning domains. A hierarchical stepwise regression analysis revealed students' SDM as the only predictor of PA intentions, explaining 18 % of the total variance (Adj. R2 = 35%). A MANOVA revealed that students of high autonomy supportive teachers reported higher levels of task orientation, perceived mastery climate, BNS, SDM, PFA, and PA intentions than low autonomy supportive teachers. Results of modeling indicated support for the multiple influences of student perceptions of MC, PAS, BNS, and SDM on PA intentions. The influence of motivational characteristics (especially SDM) on cognitive performance and PA intentions further stress the need for PE programs to operate on the premise of autonomy supportive teaching to achieve success and to influence students to be physically active in the future.