Detrimental Effects of Disempowering Climates on Teaching Intention in (Physical Education) Initial Teacher Education


Previous research has looked at the positive consequences generated by teacher-generated climates on the motivational experiences of pre-service teachers. However, there is scant research focusing on the adverse motivational consequences that affect the perceptions of future teachers during the training process.

The objective of this study was to explore the dark side of Duda’s multidimensional conceptualization, its influence on academic engagement, and the intention of pre-service teachers to be educators. A total of 1,410 university students in initial teacher training (including physical education pre-service teachers) (59.6% women; 40.3% men; 0.1% other; Mage = 23.85; SD = 5.13) participated.

The following scales were used: disempowering motivational climate, frustration of basic psychological needs, academic motivation, academic engagement, and the intention to choose teaching. The results of the structural equation model with latent variables show the positive prediction of the disempowering climate on the dark side and its negative influence on the intention to be a teacher.

Controlled motivation preceded by academic engagement significantly mediates the relationship between a disempowering climate and the intention to be a teacher, increasing the total effect on the latter variable.

Therefore, this research highlights for both teachers and researchers the impact of a disempowering motivational style, as well as its influence on the dark side as a negative promoter in trainee teachers regarding their intention to become teachers.