Research Study Abstract

Perceptions of empowering and disempowering coach created climates as predictors of objectively measured daily physical activity and sedentary time in youth sport participants

  • Presented on May 21, 2014

Purpose: Grounded in self-determination theory (Deci and Ryan, 2000) and achievement goal theory (Ames, 1992, Nicholls, 1989) this study tested a hypothesised model linking perceptions of the coach-created motivational climate within youth sport (i.e., empowering and disempowering dimensions; Duda, 2013), to motivation regulations and objectively measured daily moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and sedentary time (ST).

Methods: 91 male grassroots footballers (Mage = 11.65, SD = 1.50) completed a multi-section questionnaire assessing their perceptions of features of the coach-created motivational climate which reflect higher-order empowering and disempowering dimensions, and autonomous and controlled motivation towards football participation. Physical activity was recorded over seven days via accelerometer (GT3X). Average daily MVPA and ST were determined.

Results: Path analysis supported a model (χ² (18) = 28.87, CFI =.95, RMSEA =.08) in which players’ perceptions of an empowering climate positively predicted autonomous motivation (β = .42, p =<.01), which in turn, was positively related to daily MVPA (β =.29, p =<.01) and negatively associated with ST (β = -.21, p =<.01). Perceptions of a disempowering climate positively predicted controlled motivation (β = -.39, p =<.01), which in turn, was positively related to ST (β = -.14, p =<.01).

Conclusions: Players who perceive their coaching environment to be more empowering are likely to engage in more MVPA and less ST per day. The development of theory-based interventions to foster empowering coaching and enhance autonomous reasons for engagement present an avenue through which PA levels of young people can be increased towards the prevention of obesity.


  • Sally Fenton
  • Joan Duda
  • Timothy Barrett

Presented at

ISBNPA 2014 Annual Conference