Effects of curricular activity on students’ situational motivation and physical activity levels

Zan Gao, James C. Hannon, Maria Newton, Chaoqun Huang

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39 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to examine (a) the effects of three curricular activities on students’ situational motivation (intrinsic motivation [IM], identified regulation [IR], external regulation, and amotivation [AM]) and physical activity (PA) levels, and (b) the predictive strength of situational motivation to PA levels. Four hundred twelve students in grades 7–9 participated in three activities (cardiovascular fitness, ultimate football, and Dance Dance Revolution [DDR]) in physical education. ActiGraph GT1M accelerometers were used to measure students’ PA levels for three classes for each activity. Students also completed a Situational Motivation Scale (Guay, Vallerand, & Blanchard, 2000) at the end of each class. Multivariate analysis of variance revealed that students spent significantly higher percentages of time in moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) in fitness and football classes than they did in DDR class. Students reported higher IM and IR toward fitness than DDR. They also scored higher in IR toward fitness than football. In contrast, students displayed significantly lower AM toward fitness than football and DDR. Hierarchical Linear Modeling revealed that IM was the only positive predictor for time in MVPA (p =. 02), whereas AM was the negative predictor (p <. 01). The findings are discussed in regard to the implications for educational practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)536-544
Number of pages9
JournalResearch Quarterly for Exercise and Sport
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a seed grant from the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance Research Consortium. At the time of this study, the first author was with the Department of Exercise and Sport Science at the University of Utah. The authors thank the children for their participation in this study as well as the physical education teachers for their support. Please address correspondence concerning this article to Zan Gao, Department of Health, Exercise, and Sport Sciences; Texas Tech University, Box 43011; Lubbock, TX 79409-3011.

Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Amotivation
  • Curriculum
  • Dccelerometer
  • Intrinsic motivation


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