Sources of Enjoyment for Youth Sport Athletes

in Pediatric Exercise Science
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The positive emotion of enjoyment has been shown to be an important ingredient to motivation in youth and elite sport. This article first summarizes the progress made to date in developing and measuring the enjoyment construct, and in understanding its sources and motivational consequences. Then a field study is presented that focuses on sources of enjoyment in a large youth sample (N=1,342) that is diverse image, ethnicity, and gender. Factor analytic and multiple regression techniques were used to determine categories and predictors of sport enjoyment. The significant sources of enjoyment for these participants were greater effort and mastery, positive team interactions and support, and positive coach support and satisfaction with the players’ seasonal performance. These findings accounted for 47% of the variance in sport enjoyment and shed light on the predictors of this important affect for a diverse group of athletes.

Tara K. Scanlan and Paul J. Carpenter are with the Dept. of Psychology at UCLA, 1285 Franz Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90024-1563. Marci Lobel is with the Dept. of Psychology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY 11794. Jeffery P. Simons is with the Dept. of Kinesiology at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO 80309.

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