A Social-Cognitive Investigation into the Mechanisms of Affect Generation in Children’s Physical Activity

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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  • 1 University of Exeter
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This study examined how achievement goal orientations, perceived sport competence, perceptions of success, and perceived outcome attributions affect children’s exercise-induced feeling states following physical exercise. The construct validity of the Exercise-Induced Feeling Inventory and a modification of the Causal Dimension Scale II for children was also investigated. Children (N = 304) responded to measures on the above scales. Task orientation, perceived success, and an ego orientation, combined with high perceptions of sport competence, were positive predictors of states of positive engagement, revitalization, and tranquillity; only task orientation was a negative predictor of physical exhaustion. The locus of causality dimension appeared to mediate the impact of perceptions of success on positive engagement, but with a negligible effect. The results were consistent with previous findings highlighting the motivational advantage of adopting a task orientation in physical achievement situations and demonstrated the role of task orientation as a determinant of affect in exercise testing in children.

Symeon Vlachopoulos, Stuart Biddle, and Kenneth Fox are with the School of Education at the University of Exeter, Heavitree Road, Exeter EX1 2LU, U.K. Request reprints from S. Biddle.

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