Self-Determination, Coping, and Goal Attainment in Sport

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology

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Catherine E. AmiotUniversity of Ottawa

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Patrick GaudreauUniversity of Montréal

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Céline M. BlanchardUniversity of Ottawa

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The aim of the present study was to verify, during a stressful sport competition, the associations between motivational antecedents and consequences of the coping process. Using a two-wave design, we tested a model that incorporates motivational orientations, coping dimensions, goal attainment, and affective states among athletes (N = 122). Path analyses using EQS revealed that self-determination toward sport positively predicted the use of task-oriented coping strategies during a stressful sport competition, while non-self-determined motivation predicted the use of disengagement-oriented coping strategies. Task-oriented coping, in turn, was positively associated with the level of goal attainment experienced in the competition, whereas disengagement-oriented coping was negatively associated with goal attainment. Finally, level of goal attainment was positively linked to an increase in positive emotional states from pre- to postcompetition, and negatively associated with an increase in negative emotional states. Findings are discussed in light of coping frameworks, self-determination theory, and the consequences of motivational and coping processes on psychological functioning.

School of Psychology, University of Ottawa, PO Box 400, Station A, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1N 6N5

Dept. of Psychology, University of Montreal, PO Box 6128, Downtown Station, Montreal, PQ, Canada H3C 3J7.

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