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.
Alison L. Smith, Nikos Ntoumanis, Joan L. Duda, and Maarten Vansteenkiste
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.
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.
Nikos Ntoumanis, Anne-Marte Pensgaard, Chris Martin, and Katie Pipe
The purpose of this study was to provide an in-depth account of amotivation in compulsory school physical education by examining its major causes, the way it is displayed, and how it can be tackled. From an initial participant pool of 390 British schoolchildren ages 14 to 15 years, 21 of them (15 girls and 6 boys) were selected to participate in semi-structured interviews. They were categorized as being amotivated based on their responses to a questionnaire measuring motivation in physical education. Three main perceived causes of amotivation were identified in the interviews: learned helplessness beliefs, low need satisfaction, and contextual factors. Amotivation was mainly displayed by nonattendance, low involvement in the class, and low intention to be physically active after leaving school. Students’ suggestions for reducing amotivation focused on the enhancement of positive affect, need satisfaction, and structural/organizational changes. The findings are discussed in conjunction with contemporary motivation theories and models of amotivation.
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.
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.
Cecilie Thøgersen-Ntoumani, Nikos Ntoumanis, Jennifer Cumming, Kimberley J. Bartholomew, and Gemma Pearce
Using objectification theory (Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997), this study tested the interaction between self-objectification, appearance evaluation, and self-esteem in predicting body satisfaction and mood states. Participants (N = 93) were physically active female university students. State self-objectification was manipulated by participants wearing tight revealing exercise attire (experimental condition) or baggy exercise clothes (control condition). Significant interactions emerged predicting depression, anger, fatness, and satisfaction with body shape and size. For participants in the self-objectification condition who had low (as opposed to high) appearance evaluation, low self-esteem was associated with high depression, anger, and fatness and low satisfaction with body shape and size. In contrast, for participants with high self-esteem, these mood and body satisfaction states were more favorable irrespective of their levels of appearance evaluation. For female exercisers, self-esteem-enhancing strategies may protect against some of the negative outcomes of self-objectification.
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.
Cecilie Thøgersen-Ntoumani, Nikos Ntoumanis, Hannah Uren, Afroditi Stathi, Catrina Wold, and Keith D. Hill
The aim of the current study was to explore perceptions of group-based walking and gather suggestions to inform the development of a group-based walking intervention among older adults in retirement villages. Twenty-four physically inactive residents (16 female, 8 male; age range: 69–88) and four managers from four retirement villages were interviewed. Inductive thematic analysis revealed six broad themes: lack of motivation, values versus constraints, fears and confidence, need for structure, creating a sense of belonging, and the physical environment as a double-edged sword. Proposed intervention strategies included using trained walk leaders, using small groups, planning for flexibility, setting attainable goals, creating a routine, creating opportunities for sharing experiences, and planning a variety of walks. Group-based walking programs may be used to promote physical activity but careful planning of such programs is needed to make them appealing and feasible to a diverse group of residents.
Cecilie Thøgersen-Ntoumani, Anthony Papathomas, Jonathan Foster, Eleanor Quested, and Nikos Ntoumanis
We explored perceptions of social dance as a possible intervention to improve cognitive function in older adults with subjective memory complaints. A total of 30 participants (19 females; mean age = 72.6 years; SD = 8.2) took part in the study. This included 21 participants who had self-reported subjective memory complaints and nine spouses who noticed spousal memory loss. Semistructured interviews were conducted, and a thematic analysis was used to analyze the data. Three main themes were constructed: (a) dance seen as a means of promoting social interaction; (b) chronic illness as a barrier and facilitator to participation; and (c) social dance representing nostalgic connections to the past. Overall, the participants were positive about the potential attractiveness of social dance to improve cognitive and social functioning and other aspects of health. In future research, it is important to examine the feasibility of a social dance intervention among older adults with subjective memory complaints.