Achievement goal orientation and withdrawal from sport

Por: C. Robazza, E. Avezzu, F. Viviani e L. Bortoli.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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Introduction

According to Nicholls [1] task-oriented individuals tend to perceive their competence and success on the basis of their own effort and improvement, while ego-oriented individuals try "to do better than others". The study was conducted to examine withdrawal from sport within the framework of the achievement goal orientation theory [2]. The aim of the study was to examine possible differences by sex and type of sport (team vs. individual) in the goal orientation of athletes who withdrew from sport early. A second purpose was to ascertain whether the eventual choice of a further agonistic or non agonistic sport was associated with task or ego orientation.
Methods

The Task and Ego Orientation in Sport Questionnaire [3, 4] was administered to 120 former athletes, 60 males and 60 females, aged 18/40 practicing team (basketball and handball) and individual sports (track and field and swimming). Test directions and item verbs were modified from present tense to past tense, to enable participants respond referring to their former sporting experience.
Results

MANOVA 2 (sex) x 2 (sport) were performed using Task and Ego as dependent variables. Chi square analysis was also accomplished contrasting the number of former athletes, classified below or above the median split in the Task or Ego scales, choosing a further agonistic or non agonistic sport. Results showed that former athletes did not differ by sex or sport in the scores of Task and Ego orientation. In addition, no differences were found in the number of high or low task or ego-oriented athletes in the choice of a subsequent sport: most of athletes (75.83%) chose a non agonistic activity.
Discussion / Conclusions

From study findings it could be hypothesised that task and ego goal orientation are independent form sex or type of sport (individual and team) factors in athletes that withdrew from sport early in their career. In addition, it is interesting to note that all athletes of the sample chose to be involved in further sport activities, but most of them avoiding competition.

References

  1. Nicholls J.G. (1989) The competitive ethos and democratic education. Cambridge, Harvard University Press.
  2. Roberts G.C. (2001) Advances in Motivation in Sport and Exercise. Champaign, Human Kinetics.
  3. Duda J.L. et al. (1995). Task and ego orientation and intrinsic motivation in sport. In E. Thill & R.J. Vallerand (Eds.), Motivation and emotion in the sport context. Int J Sport Psychol, 26, 40-63.
  4. Duda J.L. & Whitehead J. (1998). Measurement of goal perspectives in the physical domain. In J.L. Duda (Ed.), Advances in sport and exercise psychology measurement. Morgantown, Fitness Information Technology, 21-48.

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