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A Cluster Analysis on Students’ Perceived Motivational Climate. Implications on Psycho-Social Variables

  • Javier Fernandez-Rio (a1), Antonio Méndez-Giménez (a1) and Jose A. Cecchini Estrada (a1)


The aim of this study was to examine how students’ perceptions of the class climate influence their basic psychological needs, motivational regulations, social goals and outcomes such as boredom, enjoyment, effort, and pressure/tension. 507 (267 males, 240 females) secondary education students agreed to participate. They completed a questionnaire that included the Spanish validated versions of Perceived Motivational Climate in Sport Questionnaire (PMCSQ-2), Basic Psychological Needs in Exercise (BPNES), Perceived Locus of Causality (PLOC), Social Goal Scale-Physical Education (SGS-PE), and several subscales of the IMI. A hierarchical cluster analysis uncovered four independent class climate profiles that were confirmed by a K-Means cluster analysis: “high ego”, “low ego-task”, “high ego-medium task”, and “high task”. Several MANOVAs were performed using these clusters as independent variables and the different outcomes as dependent variables (p < .01). Results linked high mastery class climates to positive consequences such as higher students’ autonomy, competence, relatedness, intrinsic motivation, effort, enjoyment, responsibility and relationship, as well as low levels of amotivation, boredom and pressure/tension. Students’ perceptions of a performance class climate made the positive scores decrease significantly. Cluster 3 revealed that a mastery oriented class structure undermines the negative behavioral and psychological effects of a performance class climate. This finding supports the buffering hypothesis of the achievement goal theory.


Corresponding author

*Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to. Javier Fernández-Río. Universidad de Oviedo. Facultad de Formación del Profesorado y Educación. Calle Aniceto Sela s/n. despacho 219. 33005. Oviedo (Spain). E-mail:


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