Self-presentation motives in group-based physical activity: exploring predictors and outcomes

Timothy Creswell Howle

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

    475 Downloads (Pure)


    The aim of this thesis was to contribute an understanding of the nature, predictors, and outcomes of self-presentation motives within group-based physical activity. In pursuing this aim, I sought to build on extant theory and empirical findings within the physical activity and social psychological literatures to develop and examine preliminary support for a 2 x 2 framework of self-presentation motives. The proposed framework comprises acquisitive-agentic, acquisitive-communal, protective-agentic, and protective communal motives.

    In Chapter I, I reflect on existing self-presentation motivation research performed within physical activity settings and detail the conceptualisation of the proposed 2 x 2 self-presentation motive framework. Chapter II focuses on the operationalization of this framework. I overview the development of an instrument intended to assess 2 x 2 self-presentation motives in group-based physical activity, and present preliminary construct validity evidence for this instrument. Grounded in the conceptualisation and measurement outlined in Chapters I and II, I direct my attention in the remaining chapters to examining the potential antecedents and outcomes associated with 2 x 2 self-presentation motives. In Chapter III, I detail links between self-presentation motives and individuals’ performance on tasks of physical persistence. This focus on behaviour is extended in Chapter IV, where I document associations between 2 x 2 motives and in-game sport behaviour as well as post-game evaluative ratings from teammates. The final series of empirical studies is presented in Chapter V. In this penultimate Chapter, I consider dispositional and context-specific factors that may predict the endorsement of 2 x 2 self-presentation motives and align with patterns of motive endorsement. Finally, in Chapter VI, I review the information presented in Chapters I to V, consider the limitations and application of this work, and present suggestions for future research using the 2 x 2 framework.

    This thesis comprises an analysis of data collected across eight separate studies involving participants drawn from group-based exercise classes, high school physical education classes, and undergraduate kinesiology classes. It also includes information pertaining to the conceptual development of the 2 x 2 framework and its potential use in physical activity research. Theory and research findings from this thesis largely support the conceptualisation and continued exploration of the proposed 2 x 2 framework of self-presentation motives. Findings indicate that each of the 2 x 2 self-presentation motives may differentially align with predictor (e.g., self-efficacy beliefs, dispositional factors) and outcome (e.g., goals, behaviour, evaluative perceptions) variables. It is concluded that the framework may provide a useful theory-based agenda for organising research into self-presentation motivation within group-based physical activity settings.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • The University of Western Australia
    Award date20 Jun 2016
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2016


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