The Relationship between Perceived and Observed Autonomy Support in a Physical Activity Setting

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2014

Publication Title

Chronicle of Kinesiology and Physical Education in Higher Education


The purpose of this study was to determine if there was a relationship between perceived autonomy support and actual autonomy supportive behaviors used by collegiate physical activity program instructors. Results indicate a weak and non-significant relationship between the two variables. Although there was a lack of significant association, a comparison of LCQ scores by instructor revealed that one instructor had significantly lower scores than all other instructors. This same instructor also happened to have the lowest autonomy support scores on the observation instrument. Similar comparisons across type of course revealed a difference as well, which could be also attributed to the instructor, not the type of course offered. Although there is no empirical evidence from previous research to suggest that autonomy support looks different in these settings, there are notable differences in the types of behaviors exhibited by classroom teachers versus physical education teacher and coaches (Reeve, 2009; Tessier, et al., 2010).