Academic journal article The Spanish Journal of Psychology

Prediction of Adolescents Doing Physical Activity after Completing Secondary Education

Academic journal article The Spanish Journal of Psychology

Prediction of Adolescents Doing Physical Activity after Completing Secondary Education

Article excerpt

The purpose of this study, based on the self-determination theory (Ryan & Deci, 2000) was to test the prediction power of student's responsibility, psychological mediators, intrinsic motivation and the importance attached to physical education in the intention to continue to practice some form of physical activity and/or sport, and the possible relationships that exist between these variables. We used a sample of 482 adolescent students in physical education classes, with a mean age of 14.3 years, which were measured for responsibility, psychological mediators, sports motivation, the importance of physical education and intention to be physically active. We completed an analysis of structural equations modelling. The results showed that the responsibility positively predicted psychological mediators, and this predicted intrinsic motivation, which positively predicted the importance students attach to physical education, and this, finally, positively predicted the intention of the student to continue doing sport. Results are discussed in relation to the promotion of student's responsibility towards a greater commitment to the practice of physical exercise.

Keywords: physical education, self-determination theory, responsibility, intrinsic motivation, adherence.

El principal objetivo del estudio ha sido comprobar, en el marco de la teoría de la autodeterminación (Ryan y Deci, 2000), la capacidad de predicción de la responsabilidad del estudiante, los mediadores psicológicos, la motivación intrínseca y la importancia concedida a la educación física sobre la intención de continuar practicando algún tipo de actividad físico-deportiva, así como las posibles relaciones que se dan entre dichas variables. Para ello se utilizó una muestra de 482 estudiantes adolescentes en clases de educación física, con una edad media de 14.3 años, a los que se les midió la responsabilidad, los mediadores psicológicos, la motivación deportiva, la importancia de la educación física y la intención de ser físicamente activo. Tras un análisis de ecuaciones estructurales, los resultados mostraron que la responsabilidad predijo positivamente los mediadores psicológicos y éstos la motivación intrínseca, que predijo positivamente la importancia concedida por el estudiante a la educación física, y ésta, finalmente, predijo de forma positiva la intención del estudiante de seguir practicando. Se discuten los resultados en relación al fomento de la responsabilidad del estudiante en pro de una mayor adhesión a la práctica de ejercicio físico.

Palabras clave: educación física, teoría de la autodeterminación, responsabilidad,motivación intrínseca, adherencia.

Today, one of the most important objectives for professionals in this field is to be able to maximize adolescents' adherence to a physical activity and/or sport. There are different reasons for this; firstly, the idiosyncrasy of the evolutive period of adolescence makes it a key opportunity for achieving this objective because during this stage of development a person will decide between continuing and consolidating physical activity or abandoning it (Cervelló, Escartí, & Guzmán, 2007; Fraser-Thomas, Côté, & Deákin, 2008). Secondly, research about this subject has demonstrated that the habit of doing some type of physical activity and sport implies physical as well as psychological and social benefits for a person (American College of Sports Medicine, 2000). In this context, different studies have demonstrated that the habit of doing physical activity and sport relates positively with behaviours that improve health such as healthy eating, good dental hygiene and greater physical self-concept (Castillo & Balaguer, 2001; McAuley, Mihalko, & Bane, 1997; Mendoza, Sagrera, & Batista, 1994; Moreno, Cervelló, & Moreno, 2008; Netz, Wu, Becker, & Tenenbaum, 2005; Tercedor, 2001). On a social level, several studies confirm that a commitment to physical activity could keep adolescents away from the risk of consuming different substances that are harmful to health such as, alcohol, tobacco or other illegal drugs. …

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