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Evaluation of an Intervention to Increase Student Motivation and Enrollment in Physical Education

Lauren Sulz, Sandra L. Gibbons, Patti-Jean Naylor, Joan Wharf-Higgins


This study examined the influence of a 4-month intervention on students’ motivation in Grade 10 physical education and enrollment in elective physical education. Health Promoting Secondary School Physical Education (HPSS PE) was designed to improve students’ psychological need satisfaction in physical education, based on self-determination theory. A matched comparison pre–post design was used with 10 schools (5 intervention, 5 usual practice). Students (N = 373) completed questionnaires that assessed perceptions of autonomy, competence, and relatedness, and school personnel provided enrollment information. Results indicated that HPSS PE was not effective in increasing participants’ psychological need satisfaction; however, female students receiving the intervention were significantly more likely to enroll in elective physical education. Insights contribute to the evidence about creating need-supportive environments in physical education and improving enrollment rates in elective programming. 

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self-determination; physical education; autonomy; enrolment

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