Motivation in German physical education: Do boys like being ego oriented?

Publication: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution - Published abstract for conference with selection processResearchpeer-review


Introduction: Physical Education (PE) in school is originally intended to teach pupils the necessary skills to engage in various forms of physical activity outside of the classroom. However, the compulsory character of PE might actually rule out its positive intention, potentially explaining parallel declines in physical activity behaviour in early adolescence in general. In order to tackle declines in PE motivation, it seems reasonable to look more closely at gender-specific motivation-related determinants of PE. The present study intents to investigate differences in intrinsic motivation and in goal orientations between boys and girls. Methods: A total of 223 students (N = 111 girls; mean age = 15.70, SD = 1.48) from different German secondary schools were asked to complete assessments of intrinsic motivation (enjoyment, perceived competence, perceived choice, pressure; Wilde et al., 2009) and goal orientations (task and ego; Rethorst & Whermann, 1998) in PE. For statistical analysis, a t-test for independent samples was conducted. Results: Both boys and girls showed moderate scores for perceived competence, perceived enjoyment, perceived choice and task-orientation. Furthermore, boys reported significantly higher ego-orientations compared to girls (t(216) = -2.808; p = .005). No other gender-specific differences could be detected. Discussion: Despite its compulsory nature, boys and girls perceived PE as relatively enjoyable, felt competent and perceived to have choices. For future research it could also be interesting to look at relationships between goal orientations and motivation in order to promote intrinsic motivation in PE.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAbstract book : 50 years of FEPSAC. 15th European congress of sport & exercise psychology, Münster, Germany, 15-20 July 2019
EditorsBernd Strauss, Barbara Halberschmidt, Till Utesch, Dennis Dreiskämper, Sebastian Brückner, Maike Tietjens, Vera Storm, Linda Schücker, Friederike Rosenfeld, Charlotte Raue, Stijn Mentzel, Meike Kolb, Lena Henning, Lena Busch
Number of pages1
Place of PublicationMünster
PublisherDepartment of Sport and Exercise Psychology, University of Muenster
Publication date2019
Article number4.31
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventFEPSAC 2019 - 15th European congress of sport & exercise psychology: Building the future of sport & exercise psychology - Universität Münster, Münster, Germany
Duration: 15.07.201920.07.2019
Conference number: 15


Dive into the research topics of 'Motivation in German physical education: Do boys like being ego oriented?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.