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Goal Orientations and Athletes' Preferences for Competence Information Sources

Lavon Williams

This study examined the relationship between goal orientations and preferences for sources of competence information. It was hypothesized that athletes higher in ego goal orientation would have a greater preference for game outcome, significant others' evaluation, and peer comparison, whereas athletes higher in task goal orientation would have a greater preference for learning, effort, and improvement as sources of competence information. To test this hypothesis, 152 high school athletes (78 females and 74 males) completed the Task and Ego Orientation in Sport Questionnaire (TEOSQ) and the Sport Competence Information Scale (SCIS). A principal component factor analysis on the SCIS identified seven information sources. Canonical correlations revealed an overall trend whereby task goal orientation is associated with more self-referenced sources, and ego orientation is related to more norm-referenced sources of information.

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The Roles of Perceived Teacher Support, Motivational Climate, and Psychological Need Satisfaction in Students’ Physical Education Motivation

Anne Cox and Lavon Williams

Research illustrates the positive roles of perceived competence, autonomy, and mastery climate and the negative role of performance climate in student motivation in physical education. Less research has examined perceptions of relationships within this setting (i.e., perceived teacher support and relatedness) and their role in student motivation. The purpose of this study was to test the mediating roles of perceived competence, autonomy, and relatedness in the relationship between social contextual factors and motivation in physical education students (N = 508). Results from structural equation modeling showed that perceived competence, autonomy, and relatedness partially mediated the relationship between perceived teacher support and self-determined motivation and that mastery climate related directly to self-determined motivation. The results highlight the importance of perceived teacher support, mastery climate, and relatedness to motivation in physical education.

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The Role of Perceived Competence in the Motivation of Physical Activity

Lavon Williams and Diane L. Gill

Understanding the role of perceived competence in the motivation of sport and physical activity is an important endeavor. This study attempted to examine the role of perceived competence by (a) investigating its relationship with goal orientations as hypothesized by Nicholls’s theory of achievement motivation, and (b) testing a proposed model linking goal orientations and motivated behavior. Students (N = 174) completed questionnaires assessing goal orientations, perceived competence, intrinsic interest, and effort. Regression analyses revealed that task orientation was a good predictor of effort; however, the interaction of ego orientation and perceived competence failed to adequately predict effort. Path analysis results revealed that task goal orientation, but not ego orientation, directly influenced perceived competence, intrinsic interest, and effort. In addition, intrinsic interest played a mediating role between perceived competence and effort and between task goal orientation and effort.