Peer relaionships in adolescent competitive soccer: associations to perceived motivational climate, achievement goals and perfectionism

Por: B. W. Miller, G. C. Roberts, P. N. Lemyre e Yngvar Ommundsen.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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Introduction

Competitive sport may offer an important context where peer acceptance and friendship can be established and developed. Situational and personal factors may, however, hinder or facilitate the development of constructive peer relations in sport. The aim of this study is to investigate the relationship between the perceived motivational climate, achievement goals, perfectionism and indices of peer relationships in a sample of young male and female Norwegian soccer players.

Methods

1785 male (n= 1231) and female (n= 488) experienced soccer players (aged 12-19 years; Mean age = 14.9) taking part in the Norway cup international youth soccer tournament responded to a questionnaire measuring perceived peer acceptance and quality of friendship in soccer, perceived motivational climate in soccer, achievement goals as well as adaptive and maladaptive aspects of perfectionism. Multivariate multiple regression analyses with follow-up canonical correlation analyses were conducted to examine association between the predictor and criterion variable set.

Results

The overall multivariate relationship was significant for both genders; Boys, Wilk’s lambda = .74, F (24,4260) = 16,31, P<.001, Girls, Wilk’s lambda = .84, F (24,1668) = 3,34, P<.001. Thus, for both boys and girls, motivational climate, achievement goals, and perfectionism were significantly related to the peer relationship variables. For both boys and girls, one unique significant solution seemed to best describe and explain the relationship between the set of variables. It was found that young female players who perceived a predominantly mastery oriented motivational climate, who were task oriented and scored low on maladaptive perfectionism reported better relations with their peers in soccer. In contrast, young male players perceiving the motivational climate as predominantly performance-oriented, being low on task orientation and high on maladaptive perfectionism reported worse relationships with peers.

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