According to self-determination theory, when the social context is autonomy supportive, people are motivated to internalize the regulation of important activities, and whereas when the context is controlling, self-determined motivation is undermined. A model that incorporates perceptions of coaches' interpersonal behaviors (autonomy support vs. control), 5 forms of regulation (intrinsic motivation, identified, introjected and external regulation, and amotivation), and persistence was tested with competitive swimmers (N = 369) using a prospective 3-wave design. Analyses using structural equation modeling revealed that experiencing relationships as controlling fostered non–self-determined forms of regulation (external regulation and amotivation). Greater levels of self-determined motivation occurred when relationships were experienced as autonomy supportive. Individuals who exhibited self-determined types of regulation at Time 1 showed more persistence at both Time 2 (10 months later) and Time 3 (22 months later). Individuals who were amotivated at Time 1 had the highest rate of attrition at both Time 2 and Time 3. Introjected regulation was a significant predictor of persistence at Time 2 but became nonsignificant at Time 3. External regulation was not a significant predictor of behavior at Time 2, but became negatively associated with persistence at Time 3. The findings are discussed in light of the determinants of the internalization process and the consequences of different forms of self-regulation for psychological functioning.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Bandura, A. (1977). Self-efficacy theory: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychological Review, 84, 191–215.
Baumeister, R. F., & Heatherton, T. F. (1996). Self-regulation failure: An overview. Psychological Inquiry, 7, 1–15.
Baumeister, R. F., Heatherton, T. F., & Tice, D. M. (1994). Losing control: How and why people fail at self-regulation. New York: Academic Press.
Bentler, P. M. (1980). Multivariate analysis with latent variables: Causal modeling. Annual Review of Psychology, 31, 419–456.
Bentler, P. M. (1990). Comparative fit indexes in structural models. Psychological Bulletin, 107, 238–246.
Bentler, P. M., & Bonett, D. G. (1980). Significance tests and goodness of fit in the analysis of covariance structure. Psychological Bulletin, 88, 588–606.
Black, S. J., & Weiss, M. R. (1992). The relationship among perceived coaching behaviors, perceptions of ability, and motivation in competitive age-group swimmers. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 14, 309–325.
Blais, M. R., Sabourin, S., Boucher, C., & Vallerand, R. J. (1990). Toward a motivational model of couple happiness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 59, 1021–1031.
Boggiano, K. M., Barrett, M., Weiher, A. W., McClelland, G. H., & Lusk, C. M. (1987). Use of maximal-operant principle to motivate children's intrinsic interest. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 53, 866–879.
Bollen, K. A. (1989). Structural equations with latent variables. New York: Wiley.
Brown, B. A. (1985). Factors influencing the process of withdrawal by female adolescents from the role of competitive age group swimmer. Sociology of Sport, 2, 111–129.
Byrne, B. M. (1989). A primer of LISREL. New York: Springer.
Carver, C. S., & Scheier, M. F. (1998). On the self-regulation of behavior. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Carver, C. S., & Scheier, M. F. (1999). Themes and issues in the self-regulation of behavior. In R. S. Wyer, Jr. (Ed.), Advances in social cognition: Vol. XII. Perspectives on behavioral self-regulation. Mahwah, NJ: LEA.
Cordova, D. I., & Lepper, M. R. (1996). Intrinsic motivation and the process of learning: Beneficial effects of contextualization, personalization, and choice. Journal of Educational Psychology, 88, 715–730.
deCharms, R. (1968). Personal causation: The internal affective determinants of behavior. New York: Academic Press.
Deci, E. L. (1971). Effects of externally mediated rewards on intrinsic motivation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 18, 105–115.
Deci, E. L. (1975). Intrinsic motivation. New York: Plenum.
Deci, E. L. (1980). The psychology of self-determination. Lexington, MA: D.C. Heath.
Deci, E. L., Eghrari, H., Patrick, B. C., & Leone, D. R. (1994). Facilitating internalization: The self-determination perspective. Journal of Personality, 62, 119–142.
Deci, E. L., Koestner, R., & Ryan, R. M. (1999). A meta-analytic review of experiments examining the effects of extrinsic rewards on intrinsic motivation. Psychological Bulletin, 125, 627–668.
Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1985). Intrinsic motivation and self-determination in human behavior. New York: Plenum.
Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1987). The support of autonomy and the control of behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 53, 1024–1037.
Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1991). A motivational approach to self: Integration in personality. In R. Dienstbier (Ed.), Nebraska symposium on motivation: Vol. 38. Perspectives on motivation (pp. 237–288). Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press.
Deci, E. L., Speigel, N. H., Ryan, R. M., Koestner, R., & Kauffman, M. (1982). The effects of performance standards on teaching styles: The behavior of controlling teachers. Journal of Educational Psychology, 74, 852–859.
Fortier, M. S., Vallerand, R. J., & Guay, F. (1995). Academic motivation and school performance: Toward a structural model. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 20, 257–274.
Frederick, C. M., Manning, T., & Morrison, C. (1996). Motivation to participate, exercise affect, and outcome behaviors toward physical activity. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 82, 691–701.
Gottfried, A. E., Fleming, J. S., & Gottfried, A. W. (1994). Role of parental motivational practices in children's academic intrinsic motivation and achievement. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 86, 104–113.
Goudas, M., Fox, K., Biddle, S., & Underwood, M. (1995). It Ain't What You Do, It's the Way That You Do It! Teaching Style Affects Children's Motivation in Track and Field Lessons. The Sport Psychologist, 9, 254–264.
Grolnick, W. S., & Ryan, R. M. (1987). Autonomy in children's learning: An experimental and individual difference investigation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 52, 890–898.
Grolnick, W. S., Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (1991). Inner resources for school achievement: Motivational mediators of children's perceptions of their parents. Journal of Educational Psychology, 83, 508–517.
Guttman, L. (1954). A new approach to factor analysis: The padex. In L. Lazerfel (Ed.), Mathematical thinking in the social sciences (pp. 258–348). New York: Free Press of Glencoe.
Hamilton, L. C. (1992). Regression with graphics—A second course in applied statistics. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.
Harackiewicz, J. M., & Larson J. R. (1986). Managing motivation: The impact of supervisor feedback on subordinate task interest. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 47, 287–300.
Heider, F. (1958). The psychology of interpersonal relations. New York: Wiley.
Hoyle, R. H., & Panter, A. T. (1995). Writing about structural equation modeling. In R. H. Hoyle (Ed.), Structural equation modeling: Concepts, issues, and applications (pp. 158–176). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Huber, P. J. (1981). Robust statistics. New York: Wiley.
Isaac, J. D., Sansone, C., & Smith, J. L. (1999). Other people as a source of interest in an activity. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 35, 239–265.
Jöreskog, K. G., & Sörbom, D. (1996). LISREL 8: User's reference guide. Chicago, IL: Scientific Software International.
Kanfer, F. H., & Karoly, P. (1982). The psychology of self-management: Abiding issues and tentative directions. In P. Karoly & F. H. Kanfer (Eds.), Self-management and behavior change: From theory to practice (pp. 571–599). New York: Pergamon.
Kasser, T., & Ryan, R. M. (1996). Further examining the American dream: Differential correlates of intrinsic and extrinsic goals. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 22, 280–287.
Kirschemnbaum, D. S. (1987). Self-regulation failure: A review with clinical implications. Clinical Psychology Review, 7, 77–104.
Koestner, R., Losier, G., Vallerand, R. J., & Carducci, D. (1996). Identified and introjected forms of political internalization: Extending self-determination theory. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70, 1025–1036.
Le Bars, H., & Gernichon, C. (1998). Perceived motivational climate, dispositional goals, and participation/withdrawal in judo. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, S58.
Lepper, M. R., & Cordova, D. I. (1992). A desire to be taught: Instructional consequences of intrinsic motivation. Motivation and Emotion, 16, 187–208.
McDonald, R. P., & Marsh, H. W. (1990). Choosing a multivariate model: Noncentrality and goodness of fit. Psychological Bulletin, 107, 247–255.
Mulaik, S. A., James, L. R., Van Alstine, J., Bennett, N., Lind, S., & Stilwell, C. D. (1989). Evaluation of goodness-of-fit indices for structural equation models. Psychological Bulletin 105, 430–445.
Muthén, B., & Kaplan, D. (1985). A comparison of methodologies for the factor analysis of non-normal Likert variables. British Journal of Mathematical and Statistical Psychology 38, 171–189.
Pelletier, L. G., Fortier, M. S., Vallerand, R. J., Tuson, K. M., Briëre, N. M., & Blais, M. R. (1995). Toward a new measure of intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, and amotivation in sports: The sport motivation scale (SMS). Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 17, 35–53.
Pelletier, L. G., Tuson, K. M., & Haddad, N. K. (1997). The Client Motivation for Therapy Scale (CMOTS): A measure of intrinsic motivation, forms of extrinsic motivation, and amotivation for therapy. Journal of Personality Assessment, 68, 414–435.
Pelletier, L. G., & Vallerand, R. J. (1996). Supervisors' beliefs and subordinates' intrinsic motivation: A behavioral confirmation analysis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 71, 331–341.
O'Connor, B. P., & Vallerand, R. J. (1990). Religious motivation in the elderly: A French-Canadian replication and an extension. Journal of Social Psychology, 130, 53–59.
Petlichkoff, L. M. (1992). Youth sport participation and withdrawal: Is it simply a matter of fun? Pediatric Exercise Science, 4, 105–110.
Ryan, R. (1993). Agency and organization: Intrinsic motivation, autonomy and the self in psychological development. In J. Jacobs (Ed.), Nebraska symposium on motivation (Vol. 40, pp. 1–56). Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press.
Ryan, R. M., & Connell, J. P. (1989). Perceived locus of causality and internalization: Examining reasons for acting in two domains. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57, 749–761.
Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychologist, 55, 68–78.
Ryan, R. M., Rigby, S., & King, K. (1993). Two types of religious internalization and their relations to religious orientations and mental health. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 65, 586–596.
Ryan, R. M., & Stiller, J. (1991). The social context of internalization: Parent and teacher influences on autonomy, motivation and learning. In M. L. Maehr & P. R. Pintrich (Eds.), Advances in Motivation and Achievement (Vol. 7, pp. 115–149). Greenwich: JAI.
Sansone, C., Weir, C., Harpster, L., & Morgan, C. (1992). Once a boring task always a boring task? Interest as a self-regulatory mechanism. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 63, 379–390.
Schmidt, G. W., & Stein, G. L. (1991). Sport commitment: A model integrating enjoyment, dropout, and burnout. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 8, 254–265.
Sheldon, K. M., & Elliot, A. J. (1998). Comparing autonomous and controlled reasons for goals as predictors of effort and attainment. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 24, 546–557.
Skinner, E. A., & Belmont, M. J. (1993). Motivation in the Classroom: Reciprocal Effects of Teacher Behavior and Student Engagement Across the School Year. Journal of Educational Psychology, 85, 571–581.
Steiger, J. H. (1990). Structural model evaluation and modification: An interval estimation approach. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 21, 309–331.
Swim Canada. (1995). Rate of attrition in Canadian swimming. Unpublished data. Ottawa, ON: Author.
Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (1996). Using multivariate statistics. New York: Harper Collins College Publishers.
Vallerand, R. J. (1997). Toward a hierarchical model of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. In M. P. Zanna (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 29, pp. 271–360). New York: Academic Press.
Vallerand, R. J., & Bissonnette, R. (1992). On the predictive effects of intrinsic, extrinsic and amotivational styles on behavior: A prospective study. Journal of Personality, 60, 599–620.
Vallerand, R. J., Fortier, M. S., & Guay, F. (1997). Self-determination and persistence in a real-life setting: Toward a motivational model of high school dropout. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 72, 1161–1176.
Vallerand, R. J., & Losier, G. F. (1999). An integrative analysis of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in sport. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 11, 142, 169.
Vallerand, R. J., Pelletier, L. G., Blais, M. R., Brière, N. M., Senécal, C., & Vallières, E. F. (1992). The academic motivation scale: A measure of intrinsic, extrinsic and amotivation in education. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 52, 1003–1019.
Vallerand, R. J., Pelletier, L. G., Blais, M. R., Brière, N. M., Senécal, C., & Vallières, E. F. (1993). On the assessment of intrinsic, extrinsic and amotivation in education: Evidence on the concurrent and construct validity of the Academic Motivation Scale. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 53, 159–172.
Whitehead, J. (1995). Multiple achievement orientations and participation in youth sport: A cultural and developmental perspective. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 26, 431–452.
Williams, G. C., & Deci, E. L. (1996). Internalization and biopsychological values by medical students: A test of self-determination theory. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70, 767–779.
Williams, G. C., Grow, V. M., Freedman, Z. R., Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (1996). Motivational predictors of weight loss and weight-loss maintenance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70, 115–126.
About this article
Cite this article
Pelletier, L.G., Fortier, M.S., Vallerand, R.J. et al. Associations Among Perceived Autonomy Support, Forms of Self-Regulation, and Persistence: A Prospective Study. Motivation and Emotion 25, 279–306 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1014805132406
- self-determination theory
- autonomy support