An intervention to help teachers establish a prosocial peer climate in physical education
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© 2019 Elsevier Ltd When teachers participate in an autonomy-supportive intervention program (ASIP), they learn how to adopt a motivating style toward students that is capable of increasing need satisfaction and decreasing need frustration. Given this, we tested whether an ASIP experience might additionally help teachers establish a peer-to-peer classroom climate that is capable of increasing prosocial behavior and decreasing antisocial behavior. Forty-two secondary grade-level physical education teachers (32 males, 10 females) and their 2739 students were randomly assigned into either an ASIP or a no-intervention control condition, and their students completed a questionnaire four times over an academic year to assess their need satisfaction and frustration, task-involving and ego-involving peer climates, prosocial and antisocial behaviors, and academic success. Teacher participation in the ASIP increased students' T2, T3, and T4 perceived autonomy-supportive teaching, need satisfaction, peer task climate, prosocial behavior, and academic success, and it also decreased students' T2, T3, and T4 perceived controlling teaching, need frustration, peer ego climate, and antisocial behavior. A multilevel structural equation modeling analysis showed that intervention-enabled increases in T2 peer task-involving climate longitudinally increased students' subsequent T3 and T4 prosocial behavior, while the intervention-enabled decreases in T2 peer ego-involving climate longitudinally decreased students’ subsequent T3 and T4 antisocial behavior. Autonomy-supportive teaching is therefore a precursor to the establishment of a prosocial-boosting and an antisocial-diminishing peer-to-peer classroom climate.
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