Goal Orientations and Perceptions of the Sport Experience

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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  • 1 University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  • | 2 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
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Nicholas (1984a, 1984b, 1989) conceptual framework was used to study the relationship between two implicit goal orientations (task and ego) and achievement behaviors. This study examined the relationship between the goal orientations and (a) beliefs concerning determinants of success, (b) competition and practice strategies, (c) practice benefits, and (d) enjoyment. Subjects were 182 male and 114 female high school athletes who competed in at least one sport during the 1989–1990 school year. Factor analyses were conducted to determine the composition of the relevant factors. Ten factors emerged. Canonical analysis was employed to determine the relationship between goal orientations and the 10 subscales. The results, consistent with the hypotheses, showed that athletes with a task orientation focused on adaptive achievement strategies whereas athletes with an ego orientation focused on potentially maladaptive achievement strategies. The implications of the results to sport participation are discussed.

Marc R. Lochbaum is with the Department of Exercise and Sport Science at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 250 HHP Building, Greensboro, NC 27412-5001. Glyn C. Roberts is with the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Freer Hall, 906 South Goodwin Ave., Urbana, IL 61801.

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