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Bart S. Lerner and Edwin A. Locke

This study investigated the effects of goal setting, self-efficacy, competition, and personality on the performance of a sit-up task. Prior to testing, participants were administered the Sport Orientation Questionnaire (SOQ; Gill & Deeter, 1988). Using a 2 × 2 + 1 design, 60 participants were randomly assigned to one of four conditions: (a) competition, medium goal; (b) competition, high goal; (c) no competition, medium goal; and (d) no competition, high goal. A fifth group from the same population (n = 15) was added and served as the do-best comparison group. The main effect of goal level was borderline significant (p < .059), and this effect was fully mediated by personal goal level and self-efficacy. Also, both the medium and hard goal groups significantly outperformed the do-best group. Competition did not affect performance, personal goals, commitment, or self-efficacy. The SOQ was significantly related to performance, but its effects were fully mediated by personal goals and self-efficacy.

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Herbert W. Marsh

The similarity of the constructs measured by the Perceptions of Success Questionnaire (POS; Roberts, 1993) and the Sports Orientation Questionnaire (SOQ; Gill, 1993) were evaluated using (a) confirmatory factor analyses of responses by 395 high school students (217 males, 178 females, ages 12 to 18) to items adapted from the two instruments and (b) relations to external criteria. Although the POS Mastery and SOQ Goal scales were highly related and reflected task orientation, the SOQ Competitiveness scale was more highly correlated with the POS Mastery and SOQ Goal scales than with the POS Competitiveness scale. Apparently, competitiveness assessed by the SOQ reflects a task orientation, whereas the POS Competitiveness scale reflects primarily an ego orientation. Sport psychologists need to beware of jingle (scales with the same label reflect the same construct) and jangle (scales with different labels measure different construct) fallacies, and pursue construct validity studies more vigorously to test the interpretations of measures.

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Diane L. Gill, David A. Dzewaltowski, and Thomas E. Deeter

The validity of the recently developed Sport Orientation Questionnaire (SOQ), a multidimensional measure of sport achievement orientation, was investigated with both high school and university students. Specifically, we examined the correlations of SOQ scores with other measures of competitiveness and general achievement orientation and we compared the relative abilities of SOQ scores and other achievement measures to discriminate participants and nonpar-ticipants in competitive sports, noncompetitive sports, and nonsport activities. The findings obtained with both high school and university students provided convergent and divergent evidence for the validity of the SOQ. SOQ scores were highly correlated with other competitiveness measures, moderately correlated with general achievement measures, and uncorrelated with competitive anxiety and social desirability. Competitiveness scores were the strongest discriminators between competitive sport participants and nonpar-ticipants, but SOQ scores were weaker discriminators for noncompetitive achievement choices. The findings confirm the value of a multidimensional, sport-specific achievement measure and provide good evidence for the validity of the Sport Orientation Questionnaire.

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Diane L. Gill, Betty C. Kelley, Jeffrey J. Martin, and Christina M. Caruso

We compared two sport-specific measures of competitive orientation, the Sport Orientation Questionnaire (SOQ; Gill & Deeter, 1988) and the Competitive Orientation Inventory (COI; Vealey, 1986), and an alternative 4-item version of the COL Male and female athletes and nonathletes at two small colleges completed questionnaire packets. Competitive-orientation scores were similar to those reported in previous research. The 4-item measure correlated with the COI, and neither of those measures correlated with the SOQ. As in previous studies, males scored higher than females on SOQ competitiveness and win orientation, and athletes scored higher than nonathletes on all SOQ scores. Our results suggest that the SOQ and COI do not assess the same competitive-orientation constructs. The SOQ assesses sport-specific achievement orientation; the COI assesses the relative importance of performance versus outcome. Our 4-item measure is comparable and provides a reasonable substitute for the more complex COI.

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Dean A. Zoerink and Joseph Wilson

The twofold purpose of this study was (a) to determine the perspectives held by athletes with mental retardation relative to competitiveness, winning, and setting goals in competitive team sports situations and (b) to explore differences between male and female athletes with mental retardation and their counterparts without disabilities regarding their perceptions of competitiveness, winning, and setting goals in team sports environments. Of the 402 subjects who completed the Sport Orientation Questionnaire-Form B (Gill & Deeter, 1988), 288 were male and female athletes with mental retardation who participated in team sports at the 1991 International Special Olympic Games. They were compared with 114 university team sports athletes without disabilities. Analyses of variance revealed that, regardless of disability status, young men viewed themselves to be more competitive than their female counterparts. The findings also indicated that male athletes with mental retardation were more competitive than other athletes and that male athletes without disabilities perceived winning to be more important than did athletes with mental retardation.

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Emmanouil K. Skordilis, Dimitra Koutsouki, Katerina Asonitou, Elizabeth Evans, Barbara Jensen, and Kenneth Wall

The purpose was to examine the sport orientations and goal perspectives of wheelchair adult athletes who differed on gender and type of sport. Participants were 34 male and 14 female marathoners and 166 male and 29 female basketball players. Instruments were the Sport Orientation Questionnaire (SOQ) and the Task and Ego Orientation in Sport Questionnaire (TEOSQ). Separate 2 × 2 (Gender × Sport) multivariate analysis of variance revealed that on the SOQ, males scored higher on competitive orientation, females scored higher on goal orientation, and no gender differences occurred on win orientation. Basketball players scored higher on win orientation, marathoners scored higher on goal orientation, and no differences occurred between sport groups on competitiveness orientation. On the TEOSQ, there were no gender differences; marathoners scored higher on ego orientation, and no differences occurred between sport groups on task orientation.

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Jeffrey J. Martin and Diane L. Gill

We examined the relationships among trait and state psychological variables and performance in male high school distance runners using the Sport Orientation Questionnaire (SOQ; Gill & Deeter, 1988), the Competitive Orientation Inventory (COI; Vealey, 1986), the Trait Sport-Confidence Inventory (TSCI; Vealey, 1986), the State Sport-Confidence Inventory (SSCI; Vealey, 1986), the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 (CSAI-2; Martens, Burton, Vealey, Bump, & Smith, 1990), and separate self-efficacy scales for performance (time) and outcome (place). As hypothesized, trait sport-confidence predicted state sport-confidence and outcome self-efficacy. However, competitive orientation did not contribute to the prediction of state measures. State sport-confidence and self-efficacy predicted performance, as hypothesized. Surprisingly, outcome self-efficacy was a stronger predictor than performance self-efficacy, which did not contribute to the prediction of performance time or place. The runners' youth and lack of competitive track experience may have prevented them from forming accurate performance self-efficacy judgments. In contrast, the familiar and small competitive field may have allowed these athletes to form accurate outcome self-efficacy judgments.

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Austin Swain and Graham Jones

This study examined the relationship between sport achievement orientation and cognitive anxiety, somatic anxiety, and self-confidence in a sample of male (n=60) track and field athletes. Subjects responded to the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 (CSAI-2) on five occasions during the precompetition period and also completed the Sport Orientation Questionnaire (SOQ). Stepwise multiple-regression analyses were employed in order to determine whether any of the SOQ subscales emerged as significant predictors of the CSAI-2 subscale scores. The dominant predictor to emerge for each anxiety subcomponent was the competitiveness subscale. The subjects were then dichotomized into high and low groups of competitiveness by means of the median-split technique. Two-way analyses of variance revealed significant group by time-to-competition interactions for both cognitive and somatic anxiety. In the case of cognitive anxiety, the high competitive group exhibited no change across time; the low competitive group showed a progressive increase as the competition neared. Findings for somatic anxiety revealed that the low competitive group reported an earlier elevation in the somatic response. Significant main effects of both time-to-event and group (but no interaction) were found for self-confidence. The findings revealed that the high competitive group, although reporting higher levels of self-confidence throughout the experimental period, reported reduced self-confidence on the day of competition; in the low competitive group, self-confidence remained stable. These results suggest that the precompetition temporal patterning of the multidimensional anxiety subcomponents differ as a function of competitiveness.

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Edmund O. Acevedo, David A. Dzewaltowski, Diane L. Gill, and John M. Noble

The purpose of this study was to examine the sport-specific cognitions of 112 ultramarathoners competing in a 100-mile trail run. Subjects completed the Sport Orientation Questionnaire, the Trait Sport-Confidence Inventory, the Commitment to Running Scale, and a questionnaire designed by the investigators to assess goals, cognitive strategies, perceptions of “runner’s high,” and feelings that occur when subjects are unable to run. Ultramarathoners were more confident, more committed to running, slightly higher in competitiveness, lower on win orientation, and higher on goal orientation in comparison to other athletes. Ultramarathoners also rated importance of and commitment to time goals very high; importance of and commitment to place goals were rated low. No significant differences in cognitive orientations were found between finishers and nonfinishers or between males and females. Responses to open-ended questions revealed that most ultramarathoners reported predominately external thoughts during races, had feelings of psychological well-being and strength as a result of ultramarathoning, never or rarely experienced runner’s high, and experienced negative psychological states when unable to run. Overall, these results demonstrate the unique sport-specific cognitive orientations of ultramarathoners.

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Jeffrey J. Martin, Carol Adams-Mushett, and Kari L. Smith

Measures of athletic identity and sport orientation, developed from self-schema theory, social role theory, and achievement motivation theory, were used to examine international adolescent swimmers with disabilities. The multidimensional Athletic Identity Measurement Scale (Brewer, Van Raalte, & Linder, 1993) was used to assess self-identity, social identity, exclusivity, and negative affectivity. The Sport Orientation Questionnaire (Gill & Deeter, 1988) measured competitiveness, win orientation, and goal orientation. Swimmers reported (a) a strong self-identity, (b) a moderate to strong social identity, (c) negative affectivity with lower levels of exclusivity, (d) strong competitiveness and goal orientation, and (e) moderate win orientation. Self-identity was correlated with competitiveness, suggesting that swimmers did not simply report an identification with an athletic role; they also reported a strong desire to attain competitive goals. Additionally, exclusivity was associated with negative affectivity, indicating that athletes without diversified self-schemas may be at risk for emotional problems when unable to compete. In general, the results indicated that these swimmers possess a strong athletic identity and that sport is important to them.