Social Motivation in Youth Sport

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Justine B. Allen University of Waikato

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Youth sport participants frequently report social reasons for their involvement in sport such as wanting to be part of a team or to be with friends, and social sources of positive and negative affect such as social recognition and parental pressure. Although a social view of sport has been recognized, youth sport motivation researchers have emphasized approaches centered on constructs related to physical ability and have not examined the social aspect of motivation in detail. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the contribution that social goal orientations and perceptions of belonging make toward understanding youth sport motivation. Specifically, female adolescents’ (N = 100) social motivational orientations, achievement goal orientations, perceived belonging, perceived physical ability, and interest in sport were assessed. Results from multiple regression analyses indicated that social motivational constructs added to the explanation of adolescents’ interest in sport.

The author is with the Dept. of Sport and Leisure, School of Education, University of Waikato, PO Box 3105, Hamilton, New Zealand.

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