EXAMINING THE RELATION BETWEEN STUDENT EXPECTANCY-VALUE MOTIVATION, ACHIEVEMENT IN MIDDLE-SCHOOL PHYSICAL EDUCATION, AND AFTER-SCHOOL PHYSICAL ACTIVITY PARTICIPATION
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The expectancy-value theory (Eccles et al., 1983) explains that student motivation is primarily determined by one's expectancy-beliefs, task values, and perception of the task, and that these factors directly influence student achievements and behavior choices. Based on the expectancy-value theory, the purpose of this study sought to unravel the relation among middle-school students' expectancy-value motivation, achievement in physical education, and after-school physical activity participation. Participants consisted of 854 sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students in 13 schools from a large metropolitan school district. Students' expectancy-value motivation was measured using the expectancy-value questionnaire; achievements in physical education was measuring using pre-posttest on psychomotor skill (including badminton striking and basketball dribbling skills) and fitness knowledge; after-school physical activity participation data were collected using three-day Physical Activity Recall. Data were analyzed both quantitatively using inferential statistics and structural equation modeling, and qualitatively using open coding approach. The results of the study suggested that middle-school students' expectancy beliefs and task values were relatively high (~4 on a 5-point scale) and their psychomotor skill (i.e., badminton striking skill) and fitness knowledge significantly improved in physical education over the academic year. Further analyses using structural equation modeling revealed that students' expectancy beliefs significantly predicted their psychomotor achievement, which in turn predicted their after-school physical activity participation. The model explained about 14.6% of variance in psychomotor achievement and 3.3% in students' after-school physical activity participation. Cost is a critical component in the expectancy-value theory. All three dimensions of cost conceptualized by Eccles et al. (1983) were identified in the data. Students' cost conceptions were found associated with task values, not with expectancy beliefs and achievements. Despite the cost, most of the students expressed high willingness to attend physical education for motivational purposes and health benefits from physical activities. The findings of this study imply that students tend to have high expectancy-value motivation in physical education. The motivation is likely to have small but significant predication of psychomotor skill improvement; which, in turn, related with after-school physical activity participation.