Physical education motivational climate, on the achievement goals, and intrinsic motivation of students: a multilevel approach

Joan Pons, Yago Ramis, Miquel Torregrossa, Philippe Sarrazin, Silvio Maltagliati, Charalampos Krommidas, Paul R. R. Appleton, Erica Gobbi, Gokce Erturan, Geraldine Escriva-Boulley, Joan L. L. Duda, Joao Martins, Giyasettin Demirhan, Attilio Carraro, Vasileios Bouglas, Athanasios G. G. Papaioannou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


This study examined whether the perceived motivational climate was associated with students' achievement goals and intrinsic motivation, from a multilevel (i.e., individual- and school-level) perspective within the Physical Education context. The sample was composed of 9855 students aged 10-18 (M-age = 13.96 years; SDage = 1.97 years) who belong to 237 different teachers from seven European countries. We used measures for teacher's motivational climate, achievement goals, and intrinsic motivation. After testing for cross-country invariance, results from the mediated structural equation model showed that partial mediation was the most suitable solution. Predictions from the accepted model supported theoretical predictions, suggesting a strong positive mediating role of task orientation between achievement goals and intrinsic motivation, while the role of ego orientation remained more ambiguous. Our findings also highlight the relevance of students' individual experiences in shaping their perception of the emphasised motivational climate, as well as reveal an additive effect in the prediction from task orientation to intrinsic motivation due to cluster belongingness. We discuss these results with other variables that might affect students' perceptions such as teacher-student relationship and motivational contagion and encourage future research to keep studying the construction of the students' perception of the teacher's emphasised motivational climate from a multilevel perspective.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Jun 2023


  • Achievement goal theory
  • Motivational contagion
  • School
  • Structural equation model
  • Teacher-student relationship


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