The Motivational Climate and Intrinsic Motivation in the Rehabilitation Setting

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Context: The motivational climate created by the athletic trainer in rehabilitation may be critical in influencing athletes’ intrinsic motivation and other psychosocial outcomes in the rehabilitation and the recovery processes. Objective: To examine intercollege athletes’ perceptions of the motivational climate in the rehabilitation setting. Specifically, examining if perceptions of the motivational climate can predict athletes’ levels of intrinsic motivation with rehabilitation as well as the relationship between perceptions of the motivational climate and athlete demographics (gender, starter status, athletic trainer gender, etc). Design: Cross-sectional, descriptive research. Setting: College sport team and athletic training center. Participants: National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II intercollege athletes from one institution (n = 187; 125 males and 62 females). Main Outcome Measures: Paper-based survey measuring mastery and performance perceptions of the motivational climate in rehabilitation, athletes’ goal orientation in sport, and athletes’ levels of motivation in rehabilitation. Results: Perceptions of a performance climate were positively related to intrinsic motivation effort–improvement (effect size = 25.34%). Perceptions of a mastery climate were positively related to interest–enjoyment and perceived competence and negatively related to tension–pressure (effect size = 39.03%). In general, female athletes, as well as athletes with a female athletic trainer, had significantly higher perceptions of mastery motivational climate effort–improvement than male athletes and athletes with male athletic trainers. While male athletes and athletes with male athletic trainers had higher perceptions of intrateam member rivalry in rehabilitation. Conclusions: The athlete’s gender and goal orientation, as well as the gender of the athletic trainer creating the motivational climate, can influence whether the environment is perceived as more mastery or performance. The recovering athletes’ perceptions of the climate in rehabilitation can, in turn, affect their intrinsic motivation toward the therapeutic interventions.

Brinkman-Majewski is with Upper Iowa University, Fayette, IA. Weiss is with the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA.

Brinkman-Majewski (majewskir@uiu.edu) is corresponding author.
Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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