Adolescent Goal Profiles, Perceptions of the Parent-Initiated Motivational Climate, and Competitive Trait Anxiety

in The Sport Psychologist
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The purpose of this study was to examine the combined effects of task- and ego-orientation on adolescents’ perceptions of the parent-initiated motivational climate and competitive trait anxiety. Participants were 279 male and female adolescents (mean age = 14.41 years) who competed on organized sport teams. Based on a mean split on the two TEOSQ subscales, four goal orientation profile groups were created: high-task/high-ego, high-task/low-ego, high-ego/low-task, and low-task/low-ego. MANOVA results indicated that the high-task/low-ego group perceived that both their mother and father endorsed a learning and enjoyment motivational climate. In contrast, the high-ego/low-task group thought their mother and father valued a climate where success was coupled with low effort. In this group, fathers were perceived to cause worry about making mistakes. This group experienced the highest levels of competitive trait anxiety. For the high-task/high-ego group it was found that fathers emphasized a climate where success was linked to low levels of exerted effort and mothers were perceived to cause worry about making mistakes. However, the high-task/high-ego group also believed that both parents still valued learning and enjoyment in the development of physical skills. Lastly, individuals in the low-task/low-ego group perceived mothers to make them afraid of making mistakes in the learning of skills.

Sally A. White is with the College of Applied Science and Technology and Sport Psychology at Illinois State University. Reprint requests are available from Sally A. White, College of Applied Science and Technology, Turner Hall, Illinois State University, Normal, IL 61790-5000.

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