Document Type


Department or Administrative Unit

Nutrition Exercise and Health Sciences

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Despite increased support for youth development, youth have few opportunities to voice the aspects of these programs that hold meaning for them. This study explored youth perceptions throughout a youth development physical activity program based on an adapted model of Teaching Personal and Social Responsibility (TPSR) designed to enhance Self-Determination Theory (SDT) tenets of: autonomy, relatedness, and competency (Deci & Ryan, 2008). An ethnographic case study, drawing on multiple data sources, was used to study student perceptions over a nine month program. Participants included 19 students (10 boys; 9 girls) attending an alternative middle-school. Data analysis utilized open and axial coding (Corbin & Strauss, 2008). Four themes holding personal meaning to the youth were identified: with good people, choices we made, learning to do, and it was cool. Youth perceived the enhancement of SDT constructs positively influenced the program atmosphere. Results reflected the importance of maintaining a positive atmosphere in meeting TPSR program goals. Relatedness was cited as especially important to students throughout the program and encouraged the students to strive to reach program goals.


This article was originally published Open Access in Ágora para la educación física y el deporte. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.


Ágora para la educación física y el deporte

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.