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Martin J. Lee, Jean Whitehead, Nikos Ntoumanis, and Antonis Hatzigeorgiadis

This research examines the value-expressive function of attitudes and achievement goal theory in predicting moral attitudes. In Study 1, the Youth Sport Values Questionnaire (YSVQ; Lee, Whitehead, & Balchin, 2000) was modified to measure moral, competence, and status values. In Study 2, structural equation modeling on data from 549 competitors (317 males, 232 females) aged 12–15 years showed that moral and competence values predicted prosocial attitudes, whereas moral (negatively) and status values (positively) predicted antisocial attitudes. Competence and status values predicted task and ego orientation, respectively, and task and ego orientation partially mediated the effect of competence values on prosocial attitudes and of status values on antisocial attitudes, respectively. The role of sport values is discussed, and new research directions are proposed.

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Alison L. Smith, Nikos Ntoumanis, Joan L. Duda, and Maarten Vansteenkiste

Developing upon cross-sectional research (Smith, Ntoumanis, & Duda, 2007) supporting the self-concordance model (Sheldon & Elliot, 1999) as a framework for contextual goal striving, the current study investigated the assumptions of the model in relation to season-long goal striving in sport. The study additionally examined the role of coping strategies in the persistence of goal-directed effort. Structural equation modeling analysis with a sample of 97 British athletes indicated that start-of-season autonomous goal motives were linked to midseason effort, which subsequently predicted end-of-season goal attainment. Attainment was positively related to changes in psychological need satisfaction, which, in turn, predicted changes in emotional well-being. In a second model, autonomous and controlled motives positively predicted task- and disengagement-oriented coping strategies, respectively. In turn, these strategies were differentially associated with effort. The findings provide support for contextual adaptations of the self-concordance model and demonstrate the role of coping strategies in the goal striving process.

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Martyn Standage, Fiona B. Gillison, Nikos Ntoumanis, and Darren C. Treasure

A three-wave prospective design was used to assess a model of motivation guided by self-determination theory (Ryan & Deci, 2008) spanning the contexts of school physical education (PE) and exercise. The outcome variables examined were health-related quality of life (HRQoL), physical self-concept (PSC), and 4 days of objectively assessed estimates of activity. Secondary school students (n = 494) completed questionnaires at three separate time points and were familiarized with how to use a sealed pedometer. Results of structural equation modeling supported a model in which perceptions of autonomy support from a PE teacher positively predicted PE-related need satisfaction (autonomy, competence, and relatedness). Competence predicted PSC, whereas relatedness predicted HRQoL. Autonomy and competence positively predicted autonomous motivation toward PE, which in turn positively predicted autonomous motivation toward exercise (i.e., 4-day pedometer step count). Autonomous motivation toward exercise positively predicted step count, HRQoL, and PSC. Results of multisample structural equation modeling supported gender invariance. Suggestions for future work are discussed.

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Simon Mark Payne, Joanne Hudson, Sally Akehurst, and Nikos Ntoumanis

Impression motivation is an important individual difference variable that has been under-researched in sport psychology, partly due to having no appropriate measure. This study was conducted to design a measure of impression motivation in team-sport athletes. Construct validity checks decreased the initial pool of items, factor analysis (n = 310) revealed the structure of the newly developed scale, and exploratory structural equation modeling procedures (n = 406) resulted in a modified scale that retained theoretical integrity and psychometric parsimony. This process produced a 15-item, 4-factor model; the Impression Motivation in Sport Questionnaire–Team (IMSQ-T) is forwarded as a valid measure of the respondent’s dispositional strength of motivation to use self-presentation in striving for four distinct interpersonal objectives: self-development, social identity development, avoidance of negative outcomes, and avoidance of damaging impressions. The availability of this measure has contributed to theoretical development, will facilitate research, and offers a tool for use in applied settings.

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James W. Adie, Joan L. Duda, and Nikos Ntoumanis

Grounded in the 2 × 2 achievement goal framework (Elliot & McGregor, 2001), a model was tested examining the hypothesized relationships between approach and avoidance (mastery and performance) goals, challenge and threat appraisals of sport competition, and positive and negative indices of well-being (i.e., self-esteem, positive, and negative affect). A further aim was to determine the degree to which the cognitive appraisals mediated the relationship between the four achievement goals and the indicators of athletes’ welfare. Finally, measurement and structural invariance was tested with respect to gender in the hypothesized model. An alternative model was also estimated specifying self-esteem as an antecedent of the four goals and cognitive appraisals. Four hundred and twenty-four team sport participants (M age = 24.25) responded to a multisection questionnaire. Structural equation modeling analyses provided support for the hypothesized model only. Challenge and threat appraisals partially mediated the relationships observed between mastery-based goals and the well-being indicators. Lastly, the hypothesized model was found to be invariant across gender.

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Ian M. Taylor, Nikos Ntoumanis, Martyn Standage, and Christopher M. Spray

Grounded in self-determination theory (SDT; Deci & Ryan, 2000), the current study explored whether physical education (PE) students’ psychological needs and their motivational regulations toward PE predicted mean differences and changes in effort in PE, exercise intentions, and leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) over the course of one UK school trimester. One hundred and seventy-eight students (69% male) aged between 11 and 16 years completed a multisection questionnaire at the beginning, middle, and end of a school trimester. Multilevel growth models revealed that students’ perceived competence and self-determined regulations were the most consistent predictors of the outcome variables at the within- and between-person levels. The results of this work add to the extant SDT-based literature by examining change in PE students’ motivational regulations and psychological needs, as well as underscoring the importance of disaggregating within- and between-student effects.

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James W. Adie, Joan L. Duda, and Nikos Ntoumanis

Grounded in the 2 × 2 achievement goal framework (Elliot & McGregor, 2001), the purpose of this study was to investigate the temporal relationships between achievement goals, competition appraisals and indices of psychological and emotional welfare among elite adolescent soccer players. A subsidiary aim was to ascertain the mediational role of competition appraisals in explaining the potential achievement goal and well-/ill-being relationships. Ninety-one boys (mean age = 13.82 years) involved in an elite soccer program completed multisection questionnaires capturing the targeted variables. Measures were obtained on five occasions across two competitive seasons. Multilevel regression analyses revealed that MAp goals positively, and MAv goals negatively, predicted within-person changes in well-being over two seasons. PAp goal adoption was positively associated to within-person changes in negative affect. PAv goals corresponded negatively to between-person mean differences in positive affect. The results of the indirect effects showed challenge appraisals accounted for within-person associations between a MAp goal focus and well- and ill-being over time. The present findings provide only partial support for the utility of the 2 × 2 achievement goal framework in predicting young athletes’ psychological and emotional functioning in an elite youth sport setting.

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Laura C. Healy, Nikos Ntoumanis, and Calum A. Arthur

Using a person-centered approach, the aim of this study was to examine how student-athletes’ motives for multiple-goal pursuit relate to indices of well- and ill-being. Student-athletes (N = 362) from British universities identified the most important sporting and academic goals that they were pursuing over the academic year. The participants rated their extrinsic, introjected, identified, and intrinsic goal motives for each goal and completed measures of well- and ill-being. Latent profile analysis revealed six distinct profiles of goal motives, with variations in both the strength of motives and the motivational quality. Follow-up analyses revealed between-profile differences for well- and ill-being; students with more optimal goal motive profiles reported higher and lower well- and ill-being, respectively, than those with less optimal goal motives. To experience well-being benefits when pursuing multiple goals, student-athletes should strive for their academic and sporting goals with high autonomous and low controlled goal motives.

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Juliette Stebbings, Ian M. Taylor, Christopher M. Spray, and Nikos Ntoumanis

Embedded in the self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 2000) framework, we obtained self-report data from 418 paid and voluntary coaches from a variety of sports and competitive levels with the aim of exploring potential antecedents of coaches’ perceived autonomy supportive and controlling behaviors. Controlling for socially desirable responses, structural equation modeling revealed that greater job security and opportunities for professional development, and lower work–life conflict were associated with psychological need satisfaction, which, in turn, was related to an adaptive process of psychological well-being and perceived autonomy support toward athletes. In contrast, higher work–life conflict and fewer opportunities for development were associated with a distinct maladaptive process of thwarted psychological needs, psychological ill-being, and perceived controlling interpersonal behavior. The results highlight how the coaching context may impact upon coaches’ psychological health and their interpersonal behavior toward athletes. Moreover, evidence is provided for the independence of adaptive and maladaptive processes within the self-determination theory paradigm.

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Kimberley J. Bartholomew, Nikos Ntoumanis, Richard M. Ryan, and Cecilie Thøgersen-Ntoumani

Research in self-determination theory (Ryan & Deci, 2002) has shown that satisfaction of autonomy, competence, and relatedness needs in sport contexts is associated with enhanced engagement, performance, and well-being. This article outlines the initial development of a multidimensional measure designed to assess psychological need thwarting, an under-studied area of conceptual and practical importance. Study 1 generated a pool of items designed to tap the negative experiential state that occurs when athletes perceive their needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness to be actively undermined. Study 2 tested the factorial structure of the questionnaire using confirmatory factor analysis. The supported model comprised 3 factors, which represented the hypothesized interrelated dimensions of need thwarting. The model was refined and cross-validated using an independent sample in Study 3. Overall, the psychological need thwarting scale (PNTS) demonstrated good content, factorial, and predictive validity, as well as internal consistency and invariance across gender, sport type, competitive level, and competitive experience. The conceptualization of psychological need thwarting is discussed, and suggestions are made regarding the use of the PNTS in research pertaining to the darker side of sport participation.