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Adam R. Nicholls, John L. Perry, and Luis Calmeiro

Grounded in Lazarus’s (1991, 1999, 2000) cognitive-motivational-relational theory of emotions, we tested a model of achievement goals, stress appraisals, emotions, and coping. We predicted that precompetitive achievement goals would be associated with appraisals, appraisals with emotions, and emotions with coping in our model. The mediating effects of emotions among the overall sample of 827 athletes and two stratified random subsamples were also explored. The results of this study support our proposed model in the overall sample and the stratified subsamples. Further, emotion mediated the relationship between appraisal and coping. Mediation analyses revealed that there were indirect effects of pleasant and unpleasant emotions, which indicates the importance of examining multiple emotions to reveal a more accurate representation of the overall stress process. Our findings indicate that both appraisals and emotions are just as important in shaping coping.

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Jianmin Guan, Ping Xiang, Ron McBride, and April Bruene

This study examined the relationship between achievement goals and social goals and explored how students’ achievement goals and social goals might affect their reported persistence and effort expended toward physical education in high school settings. Participants were 544 students from two high schools in the southwest U.S. Multiple regression analysis revealed that social responsibility goals represented the greatest contributor to students’ expenditure of persistence and effort toward physical education. This was followed by mastery-approach goals, mastery-avoidance goals, and performance-approach goals. In addition, girls reported significantly higher values on both social-relationship goals and responsibility goals than did boys. Findings revealed that students had multiple goals for wanting to succeed in physical education; using both achievement goals and social goals when studying student motivation and achievement in high school physical education settings is recommend.

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Maarten Vansteenkiste, Athanasios Mouratidis, Thomas van Riet, and Willy Lens

In the current study we aimed to examine the antecedents and outcomes associated with the variability in competitive volleyball players’ (N = 67; M age = 19.45; SD = 5.13) situational achievement goal pursuit and its underlying autonomous and controlling reasons. Players were followed during six consecutive games and data were analyzed through multilevel modeling. Players’ dominant contextual goal pursuit reported at the onset of the study related to their situational (i.e., game-specific) goal pursuit. Further, variation in game-to-game mastery-approach goal pursuit, as compared with the pursuit of other achievement goals, related to variation in prosocial behavior. Finally, autonomous reasons underlying situational mastery-approach goal pursuit related positively to games-specific prosocial behavior, enjoyment, and performance satisfaction. The discussion emphasizes the necessity to study players’ game-to-game motivational dynamics and the reasons underlying players’ achievement goal pursuit.

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Howard K. Hall, Alistair W. Kerr, and Julie Matthews

This investigation employed Smith’s (1996) model of performance-related anxiety to examine links between perfectionism, achievement goals, and the temporal patterning of multidimensional state anxiety in 119 high school runners. Instruments assessed achievement goals (Roberts & Balague, 1989), perfectionism (Frost, Marten, Lahart, & Rosenblate, 1990), and multidimensional state anxiety (Martens, Burton, & Vealey, 1990) on 4 occasions prior to a cross-country meet. Hierarchical regression analysis indicated that overall perfectionism was a consistent, significant predictor of cognitive anxiety. Perceived ability was a consistent predictor of confidence, and ego and task goals contributed to the prediction of cognitive anxiety and confidence, respectively. Concern over mistakes, doubts about action, and personal standards were consistent predictors of cognitive anxiety, somatic anxiety, and confidence, respectively. The findings help further develop Smith’s (1996) model and suggest that the appraisal process underlying multidimensional state anxiety is influenced by individual differences in a number of achievement-related constructs.

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John C. K. Wang, Woon Chia Liu, Nikos L. D. Chatzisarantis, and Coral B. S. Lim

The purpose of the current study was to examine the influence of perceived motivational climate on achievement goals in physical education using a structural equation mixture modeling (SEMM) analysis. Within one analysis, we identified groups of students with homogenous profiles in perceptions of motivational climate and examined the relationships between motivational climate, 2 × 2 achievement goals, and affect, concurrently. The findings of the current study showed that there were at least two distinct groups of students with differing perceptions of motivational climate: one group of students had much higher perceptions in both climates compared with the other group. Regardless of their grouping, the relationships between motivational climate, achievement goals, and enjoyment seemed to be invariant. Mastery climate predicted the adoption of mastery-approach and mastery-avoidance goals; performance climate was related to performance-approach and performance-avoidance goals. Mastery-approach goal had a strong positive effect while performance-avoidance had a small negative effect on enjoyment. Overall, it was concluded that only perception of a mastery motivational climate in physical education may foster intrinsic interest in physical education through adoption of mastery-approach goals.

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George B. Cunningham and Ping Xiang

Guided by achievement goal theory, the current study examined whether perceived motivational climate mediated the relationship between achievement goals and satisfaction with physical activity among college students, as well as whether this mediation differed by sex. Participants (N = 304) completed questionnaires assessing their achievement goals, perceived motivational climate, and satisfaction with physical activity. Perceptions of a mastery-focused climate were found to be a mediator of the relationship between mastery goals and satisfaction. The mediating role of perceived motivational climate did not differ based on the sex of the student. Collectively, results of this study support the view that mastery goals and perceived mastery climate are motivationally beneficial to students in the physical activity domain.

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Jian Wang, Bo Shen, Xiaobin Luo, Qingshan Hu, and Alex C. Garn

, we adopted Butler’s theoretical framework ( 2007 ) to validate a teachers’ achievement goal instrument for teaching physical education. Achievement Goals Education researchers assume that individuals’ perceptions, strategies, and outcomes are highly associated with their constructions of the goals or

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Andrew J. Elliot, Francois Cury, James W. Fryer, and Pascal Huguet

The present experiment was designed to examine the mediational role of self-handicapping in the relationship between achievement goals and performance on a sport-based activity (i.e., a basketball dribbling task). The achievement goals of the trichotomous achievement goal framework were manipulated, behavioral and self-reported self-handicapping opportunities were provided, and performance attainment was assessed. Performance-avoidance goals led to worse performance and evoked higher levels of behavioral and self-reported self-handicapping than performance-approach and mastery goals. Both forms of self-handicapping were found to have independent mediational effects on decreased performance. Implications for the adoption of achievement goals and the use of self-handicapping strategies are discussed.

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Bulent Agbuga and Ping Xiang

Guided by the trichotomous achievement goal framework, the current study examined mastery, performance-approach, and performance-avoidance goals and their relations to self-reported persistence/effort among Turkish students in secondary physical education. Two hundred twenty-nine students in grades 8 and 11 completed questionnaires assessing their achievement goals and self-reported persistence/effort in secondary physical education. Results of this study revealed that 8th-graders scored significantly higher than 11th-graders on performance-approach goals and self-reported persistence/effort. Mastery goals and performance-approach goals emerged as significant positive predictors of students’ self-reported persistence/effort, but their predictive power varied by grade. Overall, results of this study provide empirical support for the trichotomous achievement goal framework in the context of secondary school physical education.

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Jiling Liu, Ping Xiang, Jihye Lee, and Weidong Li

The goal of physical education is to instill physical literacy within students. As an important motivation framework, achievement goal theory has been widely used to understand and explain students’ cognitive, affective, and behavioral outcomes. In this paper, we reviewed studies examining achievement goals and outcomes in K-12 physical education settings. First, we provide a brief review of the historical development of the achievement goal theoretical models (the dichotomous model, the trichotomous model, the 2 × 2 model, and the 3 × 2 model). Then, we synthesize consequences, antecedents, and interactive factors of each achievement goal construct as well as the influences of gender, age, and culture on students’ achievement goals. Finally, we discuss implications for practice and future research. We hope our review can inform physical educators and researchers and assist the application of achievement goal theory into practice.