This study examined associations between the perceived motivational climate (i.e., caring, task-, and ego-involving) in physical education (PE) classes and students' greater life stress (Cohen et al., 1983), state cognitive stress and coping appraisals (Gaab, Rohleder, Nater, & Ehlert, 2005), and internalized shame (Cook, 1996), controlling for depression. High school students (Mage = 15.69, SD = 1.29; n = 182 females and 162 males) completed questionnaires near semester end. Structural equation modeling analysis revealed a positive linear relationship between task-involving climate and coping appraisals (i.e., competence and control) for both females (β = .84) and males (β = .37), whereas a negative linear relationship emerged between caring climate and shame for males (β = -.36). A positive linear relationship also emerged between ego-involving climate and greater life stress for females (β = .18) and males (β=.22), shame for females (β=.31), and coping appraisals for males (β=.22). The final model for females accounted for 67% of variance in life stress, 35% of shame, and 66% of coping appraisals, whereas the final model for males accounted for 47% of variance in life stress, 57% of shame, and 52% of coping. Results suggest that an ego-involving climate may undermine efforts to utilize PE as a means to promote physical activity and may also have an adverse effect on youth that extends beyond sporting contexts, whereas a PE setting with a caring, task-involving climate seems a promising vehicle in which to promote adolescent well-being and foster a greater interest in physical activity.
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© 2018 American Psychological Association.
- Achievement goal perspective theory
- Caring climate
- Psychological stress