Measuring student motivation for physical education: Examining the psychometric properties of the Perceived Locus of Causality Questionnaire and the Situational Motivation Scale
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Objectives: The purpose of this study was to evaluate, within a cross-cultural context, the psychometric properties of scores derived from the Perceived Locus of Causality Questionnaire (PLOCQ) and the Situational Motivation Scale (SIMS). Both questionnaires are grounded in self-determination theory and are commonly employed in physical education research. Method: Secondary school students from the United Kingdom (UK; n = 300, mean age = 13.71) and Hong Kong (HK; n = 342, mean age = 15.34 years) completed both questionnaires prior to a physical education lesson. Results: Internal consistency analyses, as well as single and multi-group confirmatory factor analyses produced evidence that largely supported the reliability and validity of PLOCQ and SIMS scores in the UK sample. However, the analyses indicated some areas of concern regarding the internal consistency of the external and introjected regulation PLOCQ items in the HK sample. Also, identified regulation and intrinsic motivation constructs were not distinguishable by youth in either culture in either questionnaire. Finally, compared with the UK, students in HK interpreted the SIMS external regulation items to be more self-determined. Conclusions: Researchers interested in studying contextual and situational motivation in UK physical education classes should, in general, feel confident in using the PLOCQ and the SIMS, respectively. However, our results highlight some important difficulties in the measurement of contextual and situational motivation in HK Chinese students. Further research is needed to better understand how students from different cultures respond to items intended to tap controlling forms of motivation.
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