On 27 August 2019 at 14:00 Henri Tilga will defend his doctoral thesisirja ”Effects of perceived autonomy-supportive and controlling behaviour from physical education teachers on students’ psychological needs and health-related quality of life”.
Professor Vello Hein
Associate Professor in Didactics of Physical Education Andre Koka
Associate Professor Brigita Mieziene, Lithuanian Sports University
Previous research has demonstrated a sharp decline in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among school students. Students’ HRQoL is important as it encompasses a wide set of health concerns such as physical, social, emotional, and academic functioning. The school environment, including teachers’ behaviour, is likely to be an important correlate of students’ HRQoL. Based on self-determination theory, students’ can perceive their teacher exhibiting autonomy-supportive and controlling behaviours, and both behaviours are related to students’ HRQoL.
The current thesis consists of four studies. The first study aimed to develop and validate an instrument to assess the students’ perceptions of physical education (PE) teachers’ autonomy-supportive behaviour by the multi-dimensional scale.
The results of the second study indicated that students’ perception of PE teachers’ autonomy-supportive behaviour is related to students’ HRQoL only via psychological need satisfaction. Also, students’ perception of PE teachers’ controlling behaviour was found to be related to students’ HRQoL only through psychological need frustration.
The results of the third study demonstrated that the effect of students’ perception of PE teachers’ controlling behaviour on students’ HRQoL, mediated by need frustration, was not statistically different between students who perceived their PE teachers’ autonomy-supportive behaviour low, average or high. Specifically, higher levels of autonomy support did not attenuate the indirect effect of perceived controlling behaviour on HRQoL through need frustration.
Based on the results of these three studies, a Web-Based Autonomy-Supportive Intervention Program (WB-ASIP) was developed. The results of the fourth study indicated that WB-ASIP was effective to enhance students’ perceptions of their PE teachers’ cognitive, procedural and organisational autonomy-supportive behaviour, and students’ need satisfaction for autonomy, competence and relatedness. Also, WB-ASIP was effective to decrease students’ perception of PE teachers’ intimidation and need frustration for autonomy.
The current study encourages PE teachers to provide their students cognitive, procedural and organisational autonomy support as well as to avoid controlling behaviour towards their students.