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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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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 and Willy Lens

In two cross-sectional studies we investigated whether soccer players’ well-being (Study 1) and moral functioning (Studies 1 and 2) is related to performance-approach goals and to the autonomous and controlling reasons underlying their pursuit. In support of our hypotheses, we found in Study 1 that autonomous reasons were positively associated with vitality and positive affect, whereas controlling reasons were positively related to negative affect and mostly unrelated to indicators of morality. To investigate the lack of systematic association with moral outcomes, we explored in Study 2 whether performance-approach goals or their underlying reasons would yield an indirect relation to moral outcomes through their association with players’ objectifying attitude—their tendency to depersonalize their opponents. Structural equation modeling showed that controlling reasons for performance-approach goals were positively associated with an objectifying attitude, which in turn was positively associated to unfair functioning. Results are discussed within the achievement goal perspective (Elliot, 2005) and self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 2000).

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Colin Higgs, Pamela Babstock, Joan Buck and Christine Parsons

A total of 4,698 performances by 904 athletes from 46 countries were analyzed to answer the following questions: (a) Were there significant differences in performance between athletes in each of the International Stoke Mandeville Games Federation (ISMGF) medical classifications? (b) To what extent did the classification system yield consistent results across events? (c) To what extent did performance discriminate between athletes in the various classes? (d) What classification systems would the performance data support? The analysis indicated that not all classes differed significantly from all other classes in performance and that there were different patterns of interclass performance between the track events and the throws. Individual athletic performance was shown not to be a good discriminator of medical classification, particularly for paraplegics. The data supported a reduction in the number of classifications from 7 to 3 in track and from 8 to 4 classes in the throws.

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Claire Sangster Jokić, Helene Polatajko and David Whitebread

Children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) experience difficulty performing everyday motor tasks. It is has been suggested that children with DCD have fewer self-regulatory (SR) skills with which to acquire motor skills. This article presents the results of an exploratory study examining the development of SR competence among ten 7–9-year-old children with DCD participating in the Cognitive Orientation to daily Occupational Performance (CO-OP) program (Polatajko & Mandich, 2004). Using a quantitative observational coding method, children’s SR behavior was examined and compared across intervention sessions. Results indicate that children demonstrating improved motor performance similarly demonstrated more independent and effective SR behaviors. In contrast, children whose motor performance remained relatively stable failed to demonstrate such a change. These findings suggest that CO-OP enables SR performance among children with motor performance difficulties and, as a result, facilitates improved task performance.

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Stéphanie Girard, Jérôme St-Amand and Roch Chouinard

others or surpass the standard, they tend to pursue performance-approach goals. For them, the expectation of success is positive and oriented toward success. In contrast, if individuals do not feel competent in comparison with others, they might adopt performance-avoidance goals. With the expectation of

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Joachim Stoeber, Mark A. Uphill and Sarah Hotham

The question of how perfectionism affects performance is highly debated. Because empirical studies examining perfectionism and competitive sport performance are missing, the present research investigated how perfectionism affected race performance and what role athletes’ goals played in this relationship in two prospective studies with competitive triathletes (Study 1: N = 112; Study 2: N = 321). Regression analyses showed that perfectionistic personal standards, high performance-approach goals, low performance-avoidance goals, and high personal goals predicted race performance beyond athletes’ performance level. Moreover, the contrast between performance-avoidance and performance-approach goals mediated the relationship between perfectionistic personal standards and performance, whereas personal goal setting mediated the relationship between performance-approach goals and performance. The findings indicate that perfectionistic personal standards do not undermine competitive performance, but are associated with goals that help athletes achieve their best possible performance.

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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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Bulent Agbuga, Ping Xiang and Ron McBride

This study used a trichotomous achievement goal model to explore and describe what actually happened in terms of students’ achievement goals and disruptive behaviors in an after-school physical activity program. Participants included 158 students in grades 3–6. They completed questionnaires assessing their achievement goals and disruptive behaviors. Nine of the participants were also selected and observed for disruptive behaviors. Students reported higher scores on the mastery goal than they did on the performance-approach and performance-avoidance goals. The mastery goal was negatively related to students’ self-reported low engagement, whereas the performance-approach and performance-avoidance goals were positively related to students’ self-reported disruptive behaviors. Overall, findings of the study provide empirical support for the trichotomous achievement goal model as a viable theoretical framework in the study of students’ disruptive behaviors in after-school physical activity settings.

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Christophe Gernigon, Fabienne d’Arripe-Longueville, Didier Delignières and Grégory Ninot

Based on the dynamical systems perspective, the present study aimed to explore how states of involvement toward mastery, performance-approach, and performance-avoidance goals (Elliot & Church, 1997) flow, are interrelated, and are activated during a practice judo combat. Using a retrospective video recall method, two male national level judo competitors expressed on a computer their moment-to-moment level of involvement toward each goal. Self-confrontation interviews also based on the video were immediately conducted. Analyses of variance revealed differences in levels of each goal between periods of the combat. Windowed cross-correlation analyses showed that the patterns of relationships between the time series of the different goals considered two-by-two included either high positive, high negative, or zero correlations, depending on the moment. Qualitative data analyses supported these findings and suggested that goal involvement states emerged and fluctuated according to the ecological constraints of the situation, such as the initial contextual conditions and the course of action.