Physical activity motivation and confidence predict performance on effortful tasks


The Canadian Assessment of Physical Literacy evaluates children across four core domains: physical competence, daily behaviour, physical activity knowledge, and motivation for physical activity. The motivation and confidence score is comprised of four characteristics of motivation: 1) choosing a physical activity over a sedentary activity, 2) feelings of adequacy towards physical activity, 3) comparing levels of physical activity and physical skills to peers, 4) perceived benefits versus barriers for physical activity. The physical competence domain is comprised of eight competencies; the present study focused on plank (muscular endurance) and beep test (aerobic endurance) results, as both would be partially influenced by effort rather than pure fitness or skill. Motivation and confidence were expected to influence kids' persistencce and effort in tasks such as plank and beep test (PACER). Twenty-seven grade 6 children completed online copies of self-report questionnaires assessing their physical activity motivation and physical competence (HALO, 2013), performed the Fitnessgram 20m PACER (Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run; Meredith & Welk, 2010), and the plank isometric hold (Boyer et al., 2013). A regression analysis predicted plank score by physical activity motivation and confidence (accounting for 44.6% of the variance); F(1, 25) = 20. 15, p < .001.). A regression analysis predicted PACER score by physical activity motivation and confidence (accounting for 56.3% of the variance); F(1, 25) = 32.25, p < .001.

Acknowledgments: Funding support from ParticipAction through CHEO.