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Grounded in the 2 × 2 achievement goal framework (Elliot & McGregor, 2001), a model was tested examining the hypothesized relationships between approach and avoidance (mastery and performance) goals, challenge and threat appraisals of sport competition, and positive and negative indices of well-being (i.e., self-esteem, positive, and negative affect). A further aim was to determine the degree to which the cognitive appraisals mediated the relationship between the four achievement goals and the indicators of athletes’ welfare. Finally, measurement and structural invariance was tested with respect to gender in the hypothesized model. An alternative model was also estimated specifying self-esteem as an antecedent of the four goals and cognitive appraisals. Four hundred and twenty-four team sport participants (Mage = 24.25) responded to a multisection questionnaire. Structural equation modeling analyses provided support for the hypothesized model only. Challenge and threat appraisals partially mediated the relationships observed between mastery-based goals and the well-being indicators. Lastly, the hypothesized model was found to be invariant across gender.
The authors are with the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, United Kingdom.