The Motivational Climate, Perceived Ability, and Athletes’ Psychological and Physical Well-Being

in The Sport Psychologist
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Grounded in achievement goal theory (Nicholls, 1989), the purpose of this study was to examine the relationship of the perceived motivational climate and perceptions of ability to indices of psychological and physical well-being among male adolescents taking part in team sports. Participants were 265 adolescent soccer and cricket players. Reported self-esteem was the lowest among low perceived ability athletes participating in an environment that was perceived to be high in its ego-involving features, but high among athletes perceiving a highly task-involving environment regardless of their perceptions of competence. Contingent self-esteem, physical exhaustion, and reported physical symptoms were positively predicted by perceptions of an ego-involving climate. The results suggest that an examination of variations in the perceived motivational climate may provide further insight into whether sport participation can be health promotive or potentially damaging to athletes’ welfare.

The authors are with the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences at the University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT United Kingdom. E-mail:

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