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The present research tested a model of social-cognitive influences on situational motivation (i.e., youths’ reasons for participating in sport at a given moment in time) via youths’ 2 × 2 achievement goals. Boys and girls (N = 165) participating in a summer swim league completed measures of their achievement goals and situational motivation on multiple occasions during a 6-week period; they also rated the coaching climate at the end of the season. All Situational Motivation Scale responses exhibited acceptable levels of longitudinal factorial invariance. Latent growth curve analyses revealed that intrinsic motivation and identified regulation did not appear to change over the course of the season; however, external regulation and amotivation increased significantly during that period. Youths’ perceptions of an avoidance-oriented coaching climate predicted corresponding residualized change in their own achievement goals over the season. Additionally, residualized change in youths’ mastery-avoidance goals (i.e., focus on avoiding self-referenced incompetence) was positively linked to the rate at which external regulation and amotivation scores changed.
Dept. of Kinesiology
Dept. of Human Development & Family Studies, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802.