Dimitrios Karaoglanidis, Katerina Mouratidou, Panagiotis Kanellopoulos, Sofia Karamavrou, Ioanna Parisi

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The main aim of the present study was to examine whether perceived autonomy during physical education (PE) classes, the perceived motivation, and students' intentions for physical activity outside of school differ based on their educational level and gender. The sample consisted of 551 children (266 boys and 285 girls), of which 320 were attending primary school and 231 were attending high school. Four instruments were used for collecting data: (a) a demographics questionnaire; (b) the Perceived Autonomy Support in Physical Education scale (P.A.S. in PE) for assessing students’ motivation; c) the Learning and Performance Orientations in Physical Education Classes Questionnaire (LAPOPECQ) for assessing  the perceived motivational climate within the PE class, and (d) a questionnaire based on the Theory of Reasoned Action which assessed the participants' intentions for physical activity outside of school. The results showed that as children grow up and change educational levels, the perceived motivational climate with an emphasis on tasks, the sense of autonomy in PE, and the intention to exercise are on the decline. In addition, it appeared that girls exhibited less intention to exercise compared to boys, especially in the highest level of education, and were more likely to perceive the motivational climate in the PE lesson as task-oriented rather than ego-oriented. To sum up, the gender and educational level of students are considered two key factors for both motivation and a sense of autonomy in PE, as well as for their intention to exercise outside of school.


Motivational Climate, Perceived Autonomy, Physical Activity Intention, Educational Level, Gender

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