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Measuring Student Motivation in High School Physical Education: Development and Validation of Two Self-Report Questionnaires

Lauren Sulz, Viviene Temple, Sandra Gibbons


The aim of this research was to develop measures to provide valid and reliable representation of the motivational states and psychological needs proposed by the self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 1985, 2000) within a physical education context. Based on theoretical underpinnings of self-determination theory, two questionnaires were developed to measure students’ motivation and psychological need satisfaction in high school physical education: (a) the Physical Education Motivation Scale (PEMS) and (b) the Physical Education Autonomy, Relatedness, Competence Scale (PE-ARCS). Validity and reliability concerning the scales were examined. Exploratory factor analysis supported the validity and test–retest reliability of a 3-factor, 9-item solution for PEMS and a 3-factor, 12-item solution for PE-ARCS. The results provide evidence supporting the validity and reliability of PEMS and PE-ARCS as promising physical education-specific measures of motivation developed within the framework of self-determination theory. 


self-determination; physical education; validity; reliability; motivation

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