Relationship between Task and Ego Orientation and the Perceived Purpose of Sport among High School Athletes

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology

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Joan L. DudaPerdue University

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This study examined the relationship between an athlete's goal perspective (i.e., task or ego orientation) and the perceived purpose of sport among male and female high school athletes. The sport-specific measure of task and ego orientation was found to have a stable factor structure and high internal consistency. Factor analysis of the Purpose of Sport Questionnaire revealed seven factors: sport should (a) teach the value of mastery and cooperation, (b) show people how to be physically active for life, (c) make good citizens, (d) make people competitive, (e) help individuals obtain a high status career, (f) enhance self-esteem, and (g) show people how to get ahead and increase their social status. Results indicated that the importance placed on skill mastery and personal improvement in sport (task orientation) positively related to the beliefs that sport should enhance self-esteem and teach people to try their test, cooperate, and be good citizens. Ego orientation was a positive predictor of the view that sport involvement should enhance one's self-esteem and social status.

Joan L. Duda is with the Department of PEERS, Purdue University, Lambert 113, W. Lafayette, IN 47907.

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