Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


High school students--Iowa--Attitudes; Physical education and training--Iowa; High school students--Attitudes; Physical education and training; Sports--Psychological aspects; Iowa; Academic theses;


In physical education, students perform physical activities among their peers and teachers. Some students are highly skilled, while others are developing their skill, and some just do not participate at all. It has been questioned why one child would approach a new opportunity with excitement and enthusiasm and another child (with the same opportunity) would have anxiety and self-doubt. The purpose of the study was to examine the influence of significant others on high school students' expectancies for success, task value, and motivation in physical education class. Specifically, this study examined perceived influence of significant others' beliefs on students': expectancies of success and task value (attainment, utility). Additionally, the influence of the students' expectancies of success and attainment and utility value on their intrinsic, extrinsic, and social motivation was explored.

Physical education students (N = 231) between the grades of 9 and 12 in two sample high schools participated, ranging in age from 14-18 years old. Multiple regression analyses were conducted in order to examine the influence of perceived parent, teacher, and classmate beliefs on the students' task value and ability expectations.

Findings revealed that perceptions of parents' teachers', and classmates beliefs concerning ability expectations were positive predictors of the students own beliefs. Parents', teacher, and classmates' perceptions of students' attainment value were all significant predictors of students' attainment value for physical education. Perceptions of parents' and classmates' utility value were significant in predicting student utility value for physical education. Higher ability expectancies, attainment value, and utility value were related to lower intrinsic motivation. Higher attainment value predicted lower extrinsic motivation and higher utility value predicted lower social motivation.

It was concluded that the perceptions of parents', teachers', and classmates positively predicted students' ability expectancies, attainment value, and utility value.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


School of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Services

First Advisor

Windee M. Weiss

Second Advisor

Mickey G. Mack

Third Advisor

Ripley Marston


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Date Original


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