Goal Profiles in Sport Motivation: A Cluster Analysis

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Ken Hodge University of Otago

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Linda Petlichkoff Boise State University

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This investigation compared cluster analysis with the mean-split procedure for examining goal-orientation profiles and examined whether the goal-profile groups revealed differences in athletes’ perceptions of their physical abilities. Rugby players (N = 257, mean age = 20.62 years, SD = 3.64) completed a questionnaire assessing goal orientation, perceived rugby ability and competence, and self-concept of physical ability. Unlike the mean-split procedure, in which scores are forced into high/high, high/low, low/high, or low/low groups, cluster analysis revealed groups that varied in low-, moderate-, and high-task and -ego goals. Moreover, no extreme group profiles (high-ego/high-task or low-ego/low-task) emerged when cluster analysis was used. Multivariate results from the cluster analysis revealed that Cluster 4 (low-ego/moderate-task) reported significantly lower levels of perceived rugby ability/competence than did Cluster 3 (high-ego/moderate-task), indicating that ego might be the determining orientation in adaptive or maladaptive goal profiles. The Cluster 3 goal-profile group (high-ego/moderate-task) scored highest on all 3 dependent measures related to perception of physical abilities.

Ken Hodge is with the School of Physical Education at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. Linda Petlichkoff is with the Department of Kinesiology at Boise State University, Boise, ID 83725-1710.

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