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Zan Gao, Leslie William Podlog and Louis Harrison

The purpose of this study was to examine relationships among college students’ 2 × 2 goal orientations (mastery-approach [MAp], mastery-avoidance [MAv], performance-approach [PAp], performance-avoidance [PAv]), situational motivation (intrinsic motivation, identified regulation, external regulation and amotivation) and effort/persistence in physical activity classes. Participants (140 female, 109 male) completed a battery of questionnaires assessing the outcome variables at the last week of instruction. Regression analyses revealed that MAp and PAp emerged as positive predictors for intrinsic motivation whereas MAp was the only positive predictor for identified regulation. MAp was negatively related to amotivation (AM), while PAp and PAv were positively related to AM. In addition, MAp, PAp, intrinsic motivation, and identified regulation were significant positive predictors of effort/persistence.

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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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Xiaoxia Su, Ron E. McBride and Ping Xiang

The current study examined the measurement invariance across 361 male and female college students’ 2 × 2 achievement goal orientation and motivational regulations. Participants completed questionnaires assessing their achievement goals and motivational regulations. Multigroup CFA analyses showed that male and female students’ scores were fully invariant at the configural, metric, and scalar levels. Multigroup SEM analyses revealed that mastery-approach goals positively predicted intrinsic regulation and identified regulation. It also revealed that performance-approach goal was a stronger predictor of external regulation among female students than among male students. Collectively, these results provide evidence that researchers can make valid inferences about differences in achievement goal and self-regulation scores across male and female students. This study also supports the view that mastery-approach goals are motivationally beneficial, especially among female students, in college physical activity class settings.

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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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Ronald E. Smith, Frank L. Smoll and Sean P. Cumming

The mastery approach to coaching is a cognitive-behavioral intervention designed to promote a mastery-involving motivational climate, shown in previous research to be related to lower anxiety in athletes. We tested the effects of this intervention on motivational climate and on changes in male and female athletes’ cognitive and somatic performance anxiety over the course of a basketball season. Hierarchical linear modeling analyses revealed that the athletes in the intervention condition perceived their coaches as being more mastery-involving on the Motivational Climate Scale for Youth Sports when compared to athletes in an untreated control condition. Relative to athletes who played for untrained coaches, those who played for the trained coaches exhibited decreases on all subscales of the Sport Anxiety Scale-2 and on total anxiety score from preseason to late season. Control group athletes reported increases in anxiety over the season. The intervention had equally positive effects on boys and girls teams.

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Miranda P. Kaye, David E. Conroy and Angela M. Fifer

This study compared the fear of failure and perfectionism constructs by analyzing their latent structure as well as their motivational antecedents and consequences. College students (N = 372) enrolled in physical activity classes completed a battery of questionnaires assessing fear of failure, perfectionism, approach and avoidance motivational temperaments, and 2 × 2 achievement goals. Structural equation modeling revealed that responses were best summarized by two correlated factors representing perfectionistic strivings and concerns. Avoidance temperament was positively associated with both forms of incompetence avoidance; however, approach temperament was positively related only to perfectionist strivings. Perfectionistic concerns were positively related to the adoption of mastery-avoidance and performance-avoidance goals and negatively related to the adoption of mastery-approach goals. Perfectionistic strivings were positively associated with both approach goals. These results indicate that strivings to avoid incompetence can be distinguished with respect to their latent structure, temperamental antecedents, and motivational consequences.

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Ben Jackson, Chris G. Harwood and J. Robert Grove

This study examined the extent to which 2 × 2 achievement goal constructs (Elliot, 1999) were associated with key relational perceptions (i.e., relationship commitment, relationship satisfaction) for members of athlete-athlete dyads. Both members from 82 regional-level partnerships (mean age = 22.72, SD = 3.83) were recruited from a variety of dyadic sports (e.g., tennis, badminton, rowing). Actor-partner interdependence model analyses revealed that greater dissimilarity between partners on mastery-approach and performance-approach goals was associated with lower commitment and satisfaction. Mastery goals displayed positive actor effects with respect to both relationship perceptions, whereas performance-avoidance goals were negatively related to commitment (i.e., actor and partner effects) and satisfaction (i.e., partner effect). These results indicate that achievement goal constructs may align with important interpersonal perceptions in athlete dyads.

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Marsha L. Blakeslee and Dennis M. Goff

The present study examined the effectiveness of a mental skills training (MST) package employing relaxation, imagery, goal setting, and self-talk (strategies for improving performance and perceptions through cognitive-somatic techniques) on equestrian performance. A stratified random sample of 17 competitive collegiate horseback riders participated in this study: 8 received MST and 9 were controls. Riders’ goal orientation was also assessed and used to determine if there might be a relationship with performance change over time. Assessment of participants via performance in 2 horse shows revealed no interaction effect for group by time in either flat or show-jumping performance, but there was a significant main effect of time for performance improvement. Riders demonstrated a dominant mastery-approach goal orientation as hypothesized, but no significant correlations with performance change emerged. Findings do not rule out MST as a possible performance enhancing technique, but more research is needed to assess nomothetic MST package effects.

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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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Victoria E. Warburton and Christopher M. Spray

The purpose of this study was to examine the temporal pattern of pupils’ approach-avoidance achievement goal adoption in physical education across Key Stage 3 of secondary school. Moreover, we determined the predictive utility of implicit theories of ability and perceived competence in explaining change in achievement goals, along with the moderating influence of pupils’ year group. On four occasions, over a 9-month period, 511 pupils in Years 7, 8, and 9 completed measures of perceived competence, incremental and entity beliefs, and approach-avoidance goals. Mastery-approach, mastery-avoidance, and performance-avoidance goals exhibited a linear decline over time, whereas performance-approach goals showed no significant change. Theoretical propositions regarding the antecedents of approach-avoidance goal adoption were supported. Year group was found to moderate a number of these antecedent-goal relationships. Results suggest that Year 7 is a critical time for adolescents’ motivation in school physical education.