Situational motivation: its relationship to goal orientation and perceived satisfaction from physical activity

Por: G. Daroglou, H. Tsorbatzoudis e P. Zahariadis.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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Based on the self-determination theory Vallerand [1] proposed the hierarchical motivation model. According to this motivation have determinants, mediators and consequences classified to three levels: global, contextual and situational. Researchers [2] introduced the Situational Motivation Scale (SIMS) in order to assess four situational motivaton facets: intrinsic motivation, identification, external regulation and amotivation. Research evidence [3] confirmed SIMS construct validity and reliability among U.S. middle school children with satisfactory results. Findings also on the situational level of motivation showed that increases on self-determination perceptions can be related to upgrade of a person’s intrinsic motivation [4]. Researchers [4] studied motivation and consequences on emotional level on a sample of overweight people participating on a weight lose program. Their study indicated that intrinsic motivation and identification contrary to external regulation and amotivation enhance positive emotions and enjoinment from physical activity. Literature review show that motivation on situational level has not been studied in the area of physical education. The purpose of the present study was twofold: a) to test SIMS’s psychometric properties, and b) to examine the relationship of students’ goal orientation, situational motivation and students’ satisfaction from physical activity.


244 high school students (111 male and 133 female) (Μage=14.89±1.55) participate in the study. Questionnaires: a) Task and Ego Orientation in Sport Questionnaire (TEOSQ) [5], b) Situational Motivational Scale (SIMS) [2], and c) Physical Education Satisfaction Scale (PESS) [6].


Internal consistency and factorial validity of SIMS: All SIMS’s subscales had considerable internal consistency with Cronbach α >.71. Test retest r coefficients for all subscales were also satisfactory with test-retest r >.75. Maximum likelihood second order (with overall satisfaction as latent variable) CFA confirmed the four-factor correlated model. Model’s fit indexes were high with CFI=.958, NNFI=.946, SRMR=.058, and RMSEA=.060. The ratio X2/df=1.87 was not statistically significant (p=.34). Results indicate that the model is adequate. Convergent and concurrent validity: Pearson product moment correlations were calculated to test concurrent validity of the scale among all the variables. Ego goal orientation had non-significant relationships to motivation and satisfaction variables. Task orientation had moderate relationships to satisfaction (r=.447, p<.01) as well as to intrinsic motivation (r=.302, p<.01) and identification (r=.412, p<.01). Thus, intrinsic motivation variable had moderate positive relationship to satisfaction (r=.390, p<.01). SIMS’s convergent validity was supported by moderate positive correlations of intrinsic motivation to identification factor (r=.57, p<.01) and negative to external regulation (r=-.51, p<.01) and amotivation (r=-.476, p<.01) factor. Differences on situational motives between exercisers and non-exercisers: Independent samples t-test’s results showed that exercisers had higher intrinsic motivation (t=3.11, p<.001, Mex = 5.90±1.20 Mnon-ex = 5.43±1.12) and identification (t=3.28, p<.001, Mex = 5.62±1.17 Mnon-ex = 5.11±1.20), whereas they were less externally regulated (t=3.35, p<.001, Mex = 2.29±1.48 Mnon-ex = 3.01±1.70) and amotivated (t=3.52, p<.001, Mex = 2.38±1.47 Mnon-ex = 3.03±1.37) than non-exercisers. Predictive validity: Hierarchical regression analysis results showed that best predictor of satisfaction were (R2=20, F(2,148)=18.27, p<.001) task orientation (β=.405, t=5.43, p<.001, sr=.402) and amotivation (β=-.149, t=-1.99, p=.047, sr=-.148).

Discussion/ Conclusions

SIMS was examined for its psychometric properties in Greek high school children during their physical education classes and showed significant construct, convergent, concurrent, discriminant and predictive validity. Results showed further that higher forms of self determination contribute to higher perceived satisfaction from physical education. It was also found that students which exercise apart from school P.E. lessons experience higher forms of self determination than non-exercisers. Finally, it was found that task orientation fosters perceive satisfaction from P.E. activity. Surprisingly, amotivation were also predictors of satisfaction, possibly because amotivated students luck interest for the activity itself therefore they are less satisfied from it. In conclusion, we suggest that task oriented highly self determined climate in physical education classes should be adopted as guideline to curriculum studies for P.E. teachers.


[1] Vallerand, R. J. (2001). In G.C. Roberts (Ed.), Advances in motivation in sport and exercise. Champaign IL: Human Kinetics. Pp. 263-320.
[2] Guay, et al., (2000). Motivation and Emotion, 24, 175-213.
[3] Standage, et al., (2003). Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 25, 19-43.
[4] Blanchard, C., & Vallerand, R. J. (1996).Unpublished manuscript. University of Quebec at Montreal.
[5] Duda, J., & Nicholls, J. (1992). Journal of Educational Psychology, 84, 290-299.
[6] Zahariadis, P., Halatsis, N., Barkoukis, V., & Tsorbatzoudis, H. (1999). Exercise and Society, 7th International Congress on P.E. and Sport, Pp 201.






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