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Kelsey Lucca, David Gire, Rachel Horton and Jessica A. Sommerville

Persistence, the act of working steadfastly to overcome challenges and achieve goals, has long been an important area of inquiry for researchers across disciplines. Scholars from education have been interested in persistence because it is a powerful measure of classroom engagement and a robust

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Jeffrey Liew, Ping Xiang, Audrea Y. Johnson and Oi-Man Kwok


Schools often include running in their physical education and health curriculum to increase physical activity and reduce childhood overweight. But having students run around may not be enough to sustain physical activity habits if motivational factors are not well understood. This study examined effortful persistence as a predictor of running.


Participants were 246 5th graders, and data on their demographic information, body mass index (BMI), effortful persistence, and time to complete a 1-mile run were collected across 4 years.


Between 5th to 8th grades, effortful persistence predicted time to complete a 1-mile run even when BMI was taken into account at every grade except for 7th grade. Rank-order stability was found in major variables across-time, but no across-time prediction was found for effortful persistence on a 1-mile run.


Lack of longitudinal predictions bodes well for interventions aimed at increasing physical activity, because children or youth with high BMIs or low effortful persistence are not destined for future underachievement on physically challenging activities. Given the stability of variables, interventions that target fostering self-regulatory efficacy or effortful persistence may be particularly important for getting children on trajectories toward healthy and sustained levels of physical activity.

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Moira E. Stuart and Diane E. Whaley

Achievement choices emanate from a variety of individual and contextual factors, including the influence of significant others and gender-role socialization. An understanding of these factors is important for promoting participation in sport, particularly for women engaged in masculine-typed sports. Five members of the USA women’s wrestling team were interviewed regarding the personal and contextual variables that influenced their choice to wrestle. Questions focused on the athletes’ expectations of success and value for wrestling, their identity as a wrestler, the role of significant others, and the cultural context of wrestling for women. Results revealed that each woman had a strong wrestling identity, had high perceptions of ability, and placed high value on achieving in wrestling. Parents and coaches were the main providers of wrestling opportunities; however, negative interpretations of their involvement from a variety of significant others outnumbered positive influences. While the individual factors confirm sources that would lead a person to select and persist at an achievement task, societal messages did not support these choices. Discussion centers on issues of resistance, persistence, and applied messages.

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Chris Harwood and Lew Hardy

In their response to our recent paper (Harwood, Hardy, & Swain, 2000), Treasure et al. (2001) claimed to have clarified our misconceptions and misrepresentations of achievement goal research. After first of all commenting on the apparently rather emotive nature of their response, we logically deal with each of their criticisms. Specifically, we present sound theoretical arguments to show that: (a) personal theories of achievement hold primacy over achievement goals; (b) we are not “particularly confused” (or even a little confused) in our understanding of conceptions of ability; (c) there are excellent reasons for examining the possibility of a tripartite approach to goal orientation and goal involvement; and (d) the issue of measurement in achievement goal research needs to be carefully reconsidered. Further, in response to the status quo offered by Treasure and colleagues, we call for more innovative research that will help progress the impact of achievement goal theory in competitive sport.

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Hannah Cooper and Stacy Winter

Disordered eating is a psychological ailment that befalls many athletes and can persist into retirement. Links have been established between disordered eating and societal and sport-specific pressures; however, little research has focused on the perspective of retired athletes in a time-based sport. The purpose of the current research was to explore the conceptualization of disordered eating in relation to swimming participation, how retirement affects eating patterns, and ways to mitigate disordered eating. Following IPA methodological guidelines, a homogeneous sample of retired swimmers (N = 6) was chosen for semistructured, participant-driven interviews determined by scores on a disordered-eating questionnaire. Three superordinate themes were revealed: (1) pressures unique to swimming, (2) transition to eating pattern awareness, and (3) maintaining ideal eating patterns in retirement. The results revealed a combination of novel findings and expansion of previous data on disordered eating. Suggestions for applications of current findings and for future research are also discussed.

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Florence-Emilie Kinnafick, Cecilie Thøgersen-Ntoumani, Sam O. Shepherd, Oliver J. Wilson, Anton J.M. Wagenmakers and Christopher S. Shaw

barriers and facilitators within the delivery); and (e) maintenance (participant experience of persistence to exercise once the program had ended). Participants All 46 participants (adherers and nonadherers) from the intervention were invited, via e-mail, to participate in one of three focus groups between

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Alan L. Smith

sport persistence ( García-Calvo et al., 2014 ; Jõesaar, Hein, & Hagger, 2011 , 2012 ; Vazou, Ntoumanis, & Duda, 2006 ). Moreover, greater ego-involving peer climate perceptions have been shown to associate with greater perceptions of negative sport behaviors and athlete burnout perceptions ( Davies

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Frode Stenseng and Lina Harvold Dalskau

Two studies were conducted to investigate the paradoxical behavior of obsessively passionate individuals: they tend to continue involvement in their passion activity despite reporting the activity as a source of ill-being. We suggested that elevated self-esteem in activity engagement could be one such persistence-promoting factor. In Study 1, we found that obsessively passionate individuals reported lower levels of global self-esteem compared with harmoniously passionate individuals, whereas they reported similar levels of activity-related self-esteem. We suggest that this indicates that obsessively passionate individuals try to compensate for low global self-esteem by utilizing self-esteem contingencies in their passion activity. Study 2 showed that activity-related self-esteem among obsessively passionate individuals was found to be strongly related to comparative performance evaluations, whereas no such relationship was found among harmoniously passionate individuals. We suggest that self-esteem contingencies related to comparative performance criteria represent a persistence-promoting factor among obsessively passionate individuals.

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Deborah L. Feltz, Norbert L. Kerr and Brandon C. Irwin

The present investigation examined the Köhler motivation gain effect in a health game using an absent partner, presented virtually. The Köhler effect occurs when an inferior team member performs a difficult task better in a team or coaction situation than one would expect from knowledge of his or her individual performance. The effect has been strongest in conjunctive task conditions in which the group’s potential productivity is equal to the productivity of its least capable member. Participants were randomly assigned to one of four conditions (individual control, coaction, additive, and conjunctive) in a 4 (conditions) × 2 (gender) factorial design and performed a series of isometric plank exercises within an exercise game. They performed the first series of five exercises alone holding each position for as long as they could, and, after a rest period, those in the partner conditions were told they would do remaining trials with a same-sex virtual partner whom they could observe during their performance. The partner’s performance was manipulated to be always superior to the participant’s. Results showed that task persistence was significantly greater in all experimental conditions than in the individual control condition. The conjunctive condition was no more motivating than either the additive or coactive conditions. Results suggest that working out with virtually present, superior partners can improve persistence motivation on exercise game tasks.

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Maarten Vansteenkiste, Joke Simons, Bart Soenens and Willy Lens

The goal of the present study was to examine partially conflicting hypotheses derived from two motivational theories, namely self-determination theory (SDT; Deci & Ryan, 1985, 2000) and future time perspective theory (FTPT; Lens, 2001; Nuttin & Lens, 1985). In line with SDT, it was found that framing an exercise activity in terms of future intrinsic goal attainment (focusing on health and physical fitness) has a positive effect on effort expenditure, autonomous exercise motivation, performance, long-term persistence, and even sport club membership. On the other hand, framing an exercise activity in terms of future extrinsic goal attainment (focusing on physical appearance and attractiveness) undermined those outcomes compared to a no-future-goal control group. Correlational analyses indicate that future extrinsic goal framing led to non-autonomous persistence while future intrinsic goal framing resulted in autonomously driven perseverance at the free-choice activity. In contrast to FTPT, the no-future-goal control group did not differ from a future content-free goal group, in which the general future importance of the present task was stressed. Finally, presenting those goals in an autonomy-supportive rather than a controlling way resulted in the same motivational and behavioral benefits as future intrinsic goal framing. It is discussed how future time perspective theory and self-determination theory can be reconciled and integrated.