Relationships between perceived motivational climate, parental support/pressure and enjoyment

Por: M. K. Sisjord e M. Sorensen.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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Young people in Norway may choose to attend high schools dedicated to the development of athletes in various sports for their secondary education. As part of a broader investigation of the psychosocial and cultural influence of this kind of education, the purpose of this study was to examine, in the high schools focused on skiing, the relationship between perception of motivational climate (1), goal orientations (2) and perceived parental support and pressure.


Data stem from the first data collection that took place 3 months after starting the education. Participants were students at 6 out of 9 such high schools, the preliminary data include 64 students. A questionnaire was sent to a contact person appointed by the head master, and the students answered it during class.

The variables included in this study were measured by a Norwegian version of the Perceived Motivational Climate in Sport Questionnaire, the task and Ego Orientation in Sport Questionnaire, both translated by Robert & Ommundsen (3). Social support from parents was measured by a 5 item scale indicating various forms for support (helping with equipment, encouragement, accompanying to training and competitions and are positive to sport participation. Pressure from parents was measured on a two item scale indicating pressure towards better results and expecting the athlete to demonstrate good results. Included was also a one item question on the degree of enjoyment at school.


Comparisons of mean scores (t-tests and one way ANOVA) demonstrated no gender differences on any of the measures. Those engaging in disciplines involving cross country skiing scored significantly lower on ego-orientation than those in the other disciplines (alpine skiing, snowboard and ski-jumping), but there were no differences as to perception of motivational climate. Correlation analyses demonstrated a significant correlation between ego-orientation and perceived parental pressure. A canonical correlation analysis yielded two clear functions, one with a performance climate and one with a mastery climate. Performance climate was associated with perceived pressure from parents, but not with parental support, ego-orientation, and loaded negatively on task-orientation. Mastery climate was associated with pressure from parents too, but also with support, task- orientation and enjoyment at the school.

Discussion / Conclusions

The preliminary data seem to support that perceiving a motivational climate as performance oriented is associated with dispositional ego-orientation and perceived pressure without support from parents as well as less enjoyment. Perception of the climate as mastery oriented is associated with a dispositional task orientation, perceived pressure from parents but in combination with support, and enjoyment.


  1. Ames, C.(1992). Achievement goals, motivatuional climate and motivational processes. In G.C. Robert ( Ed.) Motivation in sport and exercise. Champaign, IL, Human Kinetics. Pp 161-176.
  2. Nicholls, J.(1989). The competitive ethos and and democratic education. Cambridge. MA. Harvard University press.
  3. Roberts, G.C, & Ommundsen, Y.(1996). Effect of goal orientation on achievement beliefs, cognition and strategies in team sport. Scandinavion Journal if Medicine and Science in sports, 6, 46-56.




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