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Predicting Achievement Anxiety: A Social-Cognitive Perspective

Howard K. Hall and Alistair W. Kerr

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Goal Setting in Sport: Clarifying Recent Anomalies

Howard K. Hall and Anthony T.J. Byrne

Recent empirical evidence (Weinberg, Bruya, & Jackson, 1985) has brought into question whether the positive beneficial effects of goal setting found in organizational settings are directly generalizable to the domain of sport. This investigation attempted to determine whether increased control over powerful extraneous variables influencing motivation would enable goal-setting effects to be observed in sport settings, and second, it examined the utility of either flexible subject-set subgoals or rigid experimenter subgoals as adjuncts to long-term goals. Forty-three males and 11 females were randomly assigned by class to one of four experimental conditions. Following baseline trial under do best instructions, subjects performed three trials on an endurance task under their assigned experimental conditions. A 4 × 3 (Goal Group × Trials) ANCOVA with repeated measures on the last factor and baseline performance as the covariate indicated that groups holding subgoals performed significantly better than those with do best instructions, whereas performance for those with only long-term goals approached significance. These findings clearly demonstrate a need to further understand the process of goal setting if it is to be successfully applied as an intervention technique to enhance motivation and sport performance.

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Effects of Goal Specificity, Goal Difficulty, and Information Feedback on Endurance Performance

Howard K. Hall, Mobert S. Weinberg, and Allen Jackson

The purpose of the present investigation was twofold: first, to examine the relationship between goal difficulty, goal specificity, and endurance performance in a physical activity setting, and second, to determine the relationship between different types of information feedback, goals, and performance. Subjects (N = 94) performed on a hand dynamometer endurance task, being asked to hold a one-third maximum contraction for as long as possible. The subjects were randomly assigned to one of the following goal-setting conditions: (a) Do your best, (b) improve by 40 s, or (c) improve by 70 s. They were provided with either concurrent or terminal feedback in a 2 x 3 x 2 (feedback x goals x trials) design. Performance results indicated a significant goals-by-trials interaction with the 40- and 70-s goal groups exhibiting significantly more improvement than the "do your best" group. No significant performance differences were found between the two feedback groups. However, significant differences in the performance-associated cognitions of the feedback groups indicated a preference for concurrent feedback as an adjunct to goals. Results are discussed in terms of Locke's goal-setting theory as well as some recent field research investigating the goal-setting performance relationship in physical education settings.

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Precompetitive Anxiety in Sport: The Contribution of Achievement Goals and Perfectionism

Howard K. Hall, Alistair W. Kerr, and Julie Matthews

This investigation employed Smith’s (1996) model of performance-related anxiety to examine links between perfectionism, achievement goals, and the temporal patterning of multidimensional state anxiety in 119 high school runners. Instruments assessed achievement goals (Roberts & Balague, 1989), perfectionism (Frost, Marten, Lahart, & Rosenblate, 1990), and multidimensional state anxiety (Martens, Burton, & Vealey, 1990) on 4 occasions prior to a cross-country meet. Hierarchical regression analysis indicated that overall perfectionism was a consistent, significant predictor of cognitive anxiety. Perceived ability was a consistent predictor of confidence, and ego and task goals contributed to the prediction of cognitive anxiety and confidence, respectively. Concern over mistakes, doubts about action, and personal standards were consistent predictors of cognitive anxiety, somatic anxiety, and confidence, respectively. The findings help further develop Smith’s (1996) model and suggest that the appraisal process underlying multidimensional state anxiety is influenced by individual differences in a number of achievement-related constructs.

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A Three-Wave Longitudinal Test of Self-Determination Theory’s Mediation Model of Engagement and Disaffection in Youth Sport

Thomas Curran, Andrew P. Hill, Nikos Ntoumanis, Howard K. Hall, and Gareth E. Jowett

Research adopting self-determination theory (SDT) supports a mediation model whereby coach motivational styles (autonomy support and interpersonal control) predict athletes’ engagement and disaffection in youth sport via the satisfaction and frustration of psychological needs (autonomy, competence, and relatedness). Our study extends this research by examining SDT’s mediation model longitudinally with three waves of data. Two hundred fifty-two youth sports participants (M age = 12.98; SD = 1.84; range = 11–17; female n = 67) completed measures of study variables at the start, middle, and end of a competitive soccer season. Cross-lagged path analyses revealed that associations between the two coach motivational styles and athletes’ engagement were mediated by psychological need satisfaction. Furthermore, a positive reciprocal association between psychological need satisfaction and engagement emerged over time. This study therefore supports the temporal assumptions underpinning SDT’s mediation model but, importantly, evidences a mutually reinforcing interplay between athletes’ psychological needs and their engaged behavior.

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Relationships Between the Coach-Created Motivational Climate and Athlete Engagement in Youth Sport

Thomas Curran, Andrew P. Hill, Howard K. Hall, and Gareth E. Jowett

Youth sport is a source of well-being for adolescents, yet experiences vary and attrition can be high. We sought to better understand the coach behaviors that foster positive experiences in youth sport by examining relationships between the motivational climate and athlete engagement (viz., confidence, dedication, enthusiasm, and vigor). We reasoned that a mastery climate (emphasis on effort and learning) would correspond with higher engagement, whereas a performance climate (emphasis on ability and outcome) was expected to correspond with lower engagement. Two-hundred sixty adolescent soccer players completed measures of engagement and perceived coach motivational climate. All dimensions of engagement were positively predicted by a mastery climate. Furthermore, cognitive aspects of engagement were positively predicted by a performance climate. Canonical correlation analysis indicated that a composite of engagement was positively associated with a mastery climate. Results suggest that a mastery climate offers a means of promoting higher levels of overall engagement.

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Sport Psychologist’s Digest

S.J. Hanrahan, Howard K. Hall, Jim Taylor, and Mark A. Thompson

Edited by J. Robert Grove

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Clarifying Misconceptions and Misrepresentations in Achievement Goal Research in Sport: A Response to Harwood, Hardy, and Swain

Darren C. Treasure, Joan L. Duda, Howard K. Hall, Glyn C. Roberts, Carol Ames, and Martin L. Maehr

In a recent article, Harwood, Hardy, and Swain (2000) presented what they termed a critical analysis of the conceptualization and measurement of achievement goals in sport. The purpose of the present article is to challenge their interpretation of achievement goal theory and to question many of their subsequent recommendations. Specifically, the present response will focus on Harwood et al.’s (a) interpretation of Nicholls’ personal theories of achievement; (b) their contention that task involvement cannot exist in competitive sport; (c) the proposed tripartite conceptualization of goal involvement states; (d) their understanding of the relationship between the way an individual conceptualizes ability and the foundation of dispositional goal orientations; and (e) their criticisms of the way dispositional goal orientations have been measured in sport. Theoretical frameworks are always a work in progress. To this end, we concur with the spirit of Harwood et al.’s article which implies that our conceptual models should be continuously questioned, tested, and extended. However, we believe their interpretation and recommendations do little to enhance our conceptual understanding of achievement goal theory in sport.

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Sport Psychologist’s Digest

Janet Buckworth, Jean Cot6, Bruce D. Hale, Howard K. Hall, Stephanie J. Hanrahan, Cathy Lirgg, and Kathleen A. Martin

Edited by J. Robert Grove

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Sport Psychologist’s Digest

Janet Buckworth, Jean Côté, Robert Eklund, Bruce D. Hale, Howard K. Hall, Cathy Lirgg, Kathleen Martin, and Marit Sørensen

Edited by J. Robert Grove