Goal Orientations, Perceptions of the Motivational Climate, and Perceived Competence of Children with Movement Difficulties

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Janice Causgrove Dunn University of Alberta

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This study examined the relationships among goal orientations, perceptions of the motivational climate, and perceived competence of children with movement difficulties in Grades 4 to 6. Participants were 65 children (23 boys and 42 girls) with movement difficulties and 111 children (45 boys and 66 girls) without movement difficulties. The latter group was used only in the preliminary analyses investigating validity and reliability of instruments for use in this study. Instruments included a measure of situationally specific perceived competence, a modified version of the Task and Ego Orientation in Sport Questionnaire (Duda, 1989), and a modified version of the Perceived Motivational Climate in Sport Questionnaire (Seifriz, Duda, & Chi, 1992). Results of structural equation modeling analysis generally supported the hypothesized model of relationships, based on Nicholls’ (1989) achievement goal theory. The findings suggest that physical education classes emphasizing a mastery motivational climate may result in higher perceived competence in children with movement difficulties.

The author is with the Department of Physical Education and Recreation, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2H9 CANADA

Financial support from the Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute (project number 942R042) is gratefully acknowledged.

This study comprised part of the author’s doctoral dissertation. The author would like to express appreciation for the contributions of her program advisor Dr. E. Jane Watkinson and supervisory committee members Dr. Marcel Bouffard and Dr. Thomas O. Maguire. In addition, thanks is extended to Dr. Joan Duda, University of Birmingham, England, for her comments on the dissertation.

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