Determinants of Emotion in Children’s Physical Activity: A Test of Goal Perspectives and Attribution Theories

in Pediatric Exercise Science
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The present study examined the relationships between achievement goal orientations, perceived sport competence, situational goal involvement, attributions for achievement outcomes, and achievement-related affect after participation in aerobic activity in children. School students age 11–14 years (N = 211) participated in either a 400-m track-and-field event or a health-related fitness test during regular physical education lessons. Participants were assessed on goal orientations and perceived sport competence prior to participation. After completing the activities, participants indicated their goals adopted during the activities, perceptions of success, attributions for success and failure, and emotions. Task involvement and perceptions of success emerged as significant predictors of positive affect, whereas perceived success inversely influenced negative affect. In addition, internal attributions for success emerged as significantly predicting positive emotion, but with a weak effect. Adoption a task goal appears to enhance children’s positive affect after physical activity participation.

Symeon Vlachopoulos, Stuart Biddle, and Kenneth Fox are with the School of Education, University of Exeter, Heavitree Road, Exeter, EX1 2LU, United Kingdom. Request reprints from S. Biddle.

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