Document Type



This study aimed (1) to identify profiles in children based on actual motor competence (AMC), perceived motor competence (PMC), and organized sports participation (OSP), and (2) to examine differences among these profiles in weight status as well as autonomous motivation towards sports. Children’s (N = 206; 112 boys; Mage = 10.83 ± 0.92 years) AMC, PMC, OSP, weight status, and autonomous motivation towards sports were measured using validated assessment tools. Cluster analyses identified three profiles with completely convergent levels of AMC, PMC, and OSP and three profiles with partially convergent levels. Children in the convergent profiles with average to high levels of AMC, PMC, and OSP had the most optimal profile, as they combined a healthier weight status with elevated levels of autonomous motivation, while the opposite was true for children with low levels on all three cluster-variables. Partially convergent profiles showed that AMC and PMC appear crucial for weight status, as profiles with relatively low levels of AMC and PMC had the highest weight status, independent of their OSP levels. Overall, the findings highlight the importance of promoting AMC, PMC, and OSP simultaneously to help children in achieving a healthy weight status and being autonomously motivated towards OSP.

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APA Citation

Coppens, E., De Meester, A., Deconinck, F. J., De Martelaer, K., Haerens, L., Bardid, F., Lenoir, M., & D’Hondt, E. (2021). Differences in weight status and autonomous motivation towards sports among children with various profiles of motor competence and organized sports participation. Children, 8(2), 156.