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David E. Conroy, Miranda P. Kaye and J. Douglas Coatsworth

The present research tested a model of social-cognitive influences on situational motivation (i.e., youths’ reasons for participating in sport at a given moment in time) via youths’ 2 × 2 achievement goals. Boys and girls (N = 165) participating in a summer swim league completed measures of their achievement goals and situational motivation on multiple occasions during a 6-week period; they also rated the coaching climate at the end of the season. All Situational Motivation Scale responses exhibited acceptable levels of longitudinal factorial invariance. Latent growth curve analyses revealed that intrinsic motivation and identified regulation did not appear to change over the course of the season; however, external regulation and amotivation increased significantly during that period. Youths’ perceptions of an avoidance-oriented coaching climate predicted corresponding residualized change in their own achievement goals over the season. Additionally, residualized change in youths’ mastery-avoidance goals (i.e., focus on avoiding self-referenced incompetence) was positively linked to the rate at which external regulation and amotivation scores changed.

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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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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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Christophe Gernigon, Walid Briki and Katie Eykens

Borrowing the dynamical systems perspective, two studies aimed to examine the potential properties of nonlinearity and history dependence of psychological momentum. Male regional-level table tennis players were asked to empathize with players in a very important contest by watching two video scenarios of a table tennis game in two separate sessions. The videos presented two inverted scenarios in which score gaps gradually increased or decreased. Competitive anxiety, self-confidence (Study 1), and goal involvement states (Study 2) were measured before each point. Cognitive and somatic anxieties decreased linearly during the increasing scenario, but increased nonlinearly in the decreasing scenario. Mastery-avoidance goals decreased nonlinearly in the increasing scenario, increased nonlinearly in the decreasing scenario, and displayed a negative hysteresis pattern. These findings offer new insights into the dynamics of psychological momentum and suggest new avenues of research.

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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.

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David E. Conroy, Andrew J. Elliot and Scott M. Hofer

Achievement goals in sport have traditionally been defined according to the definition of competence alone (i.e., mastery/task, performance/ego). Emerging research and theory from the academic domain indicates that the utility of the achievement goal construct can be enhanced when the valence (i.e., approach, avoidance) of goals is also considered in conjunction with the definition of competence. The present study was designed to evaluate the psychometric properties of scores for mastery-approach, mastery-avoidance, performance-approach, and performance-avoidance goals from a measure of achievement goals in sport. The a priori 2 × 2 model fit the data better than any of the plausible alternative models. In a series of longitudinal factorial invariance and latent growth curve analyses, scores for the four subscales exhibited structural invariance, and both differential and latent mean stability over a 21-day period. Achievement goal scores conformed to theoretical predictions regarding their relationship with fear-of-failure scores. The AGQ-S would be an appropriate instrument for future research using the 2 × 2 model of achievement goals in sport, particularly for experimental/intervention research on change processes associated with achievement goals.

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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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Ian D. Boardley and Ben Jackson

This research aimed to (a) determine whether mastery and intrateam performance achievement goals predicted prosocial and antisocial teammate behavior, (b) explore whether effects of intrateam performance goals were mediated by moral disengagement, and (c) examine whether any effects (Study 2 only) were moderated by cohesion. In Study 1, team athletes (N = 282) from Australia completed questionnaires assessing the aforementioned variables. Structural equation modeling indicated that prosocial teammate behavior was positively predicted by mastery-approach goals, and negatively predicted by mastery- and intrateam performance-avoidance goals, whereas antisocial teammate behavior was positively predicted by intrateam performance-approach and -avoidance goals; these latter effects were mediated by moral disengagement. In Study 2, team athletes (N = 452) from the United Kingdom completed a measure of cohesion in addition to the Study 1 instruments; the analyses largely confirmed the Study 1 findings. However, the undesirable effect of mastery-avoidance goals on prosocial behavior seen in Study 1 was only apparent in Study 2 when individuals held strong perceptions of team cohesion. In sum, this investigation makes a novel contribution to the literature on team functioning in sport, being the first to explore how athletes’ normative goals relative to their teammates might shape effective interaction processes.

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Sarah Danthony, Nicolas Mascret and François Cury

performance trajectory), performance-approach goals (i.e., doing well relative to others), mastery-avoidance goals (i.e., not doing poorly relative to the task demands or one’s own performance trajectory), performance-avoidance goals (i.e., not doing poorly relative to others), and general test anxiety