Teachers Need-Supportive Behaviors and Students Physical Activity in Secondary School Physical Education Classes: An Observational Study

  • CHUNG, Pak-Kwong (PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


The benefits of regular participation in physical activity (PA) to physical and psychological health throughout the lifespan are well recognized. However, previous studies reported that children’s participation in PA decreased significantly during their transition into adolescence (Nader et al., 2008). Recent evidence further reported that many adolescents were living in a physically inactive lifestyle (Hallal et al., 2012). In considering the participation of PA among adolescents, study suggested that the PA during Physical Education (PE) classes contributed considerably to students’ overall PA level (Alderman et al., 2012; U. Meyer et al., 2013). However, a local study found that a decrease of participation in moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) in secondary school PE classes in Hong Kong (Chow et al., 2009). This decline of PA level among adolescents may have a significant impact on their cardiovascular, skeletal, and psychological health (Biddle et al., 2004). Therefore, the factors that influence adolescents’ PA level in both PE classes and leisure time should be further studied.

PE class is considered an important platform to promote PA in children and adolescents (Pate et al., 2006). Therefore, many studies were conducted to examine how social factors would influence students’ learning outcomes (i.e., PA level, competence, motivation) in relation to PE class. Previous studies suggested that PE teachers’ autonomy supportive behaviors significantly predicted students’ autonomous motivation towards PA in PE class and leisure-time (i.e., Standage et al., 2012). However, influences of other important need-supportive behaviors such as structure (viz., which consists of the provision of guidance, expectations, plans and goal setting) and involvement (i.g., the degree to which significant others devote time, energy and interests to others) were ignored. In another study, Chow et al. (2009) examined the PA level of secondary school students and the environmental influence on the PA during the PE classes. However, the influence of teachers’ teaching behaviors was not examined in this study. Furthermore, majority of previous studies used self-report measures to measure teachers’ need-supportive behaviors, which may not accurately reflect the true teaching behaviors (Haerens et al., 2013).

This project aims to investigate the relationships between observed PE teachers’ need- supportive behaviors (autonomy support, structure, and involvement) and students’ objectively measured PA level and other motivational outcomes (motivation, effort, and subjective vitality) during PE classes in secondary schools in Hong Kong. The findings of the proposed study will complement the previous works on teachers’ need-supportive behaviors and students’ PA level during PE classes in secondary schools.
Effective start/end date1/10/1430/09/16

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


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