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Why is physical education more stimulating for pupils who are more satisfied with their own body?

Kerner, Charlotte and Kirk, David and De Meester, An and Haerens, Leen (2018) Why is physical education more stimulating for pupils who are more satisfied with their own body? Health Education Journal. ISSN 0017-8969

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Abstract

Objective: This study explored whether pupils’ state body satisfaction during physical education related to the degree to which they indicated that physical education stimulated them to engage in sports activities outside of school. It also investigated whether pupils’ self-determined motivation mediated this relationship, such that pupils with higher body satisfaction were more likely to value and enjoy the lessons, and to indicate they would re-engage in the activities outside of physical education. Methods: The study involved 506 13–14-year-old pupils (51.19% girls) in England, who completed validated questionnaires to measure perceived body satisfaction, motivation for physical education and the perceived sport promoting role of physical education. Results: Results showed that body satisfaction positively related to the perceived sport promoting role of physical education in girls. The relationship between state body satisfaction during physical education and the perceived sport promoting role of physical education was partially mediated by pupils’ self-determined motivation. Conclusion: Pupils who felt more comfortable and satisfied with their physical appearance seemed to value and enjoy physical lessons more, and this more positive experience stimulated them to re-engage in the activities outside school.