Sportsmanship Orientations For Schoolchildren. do Motivation Matters?

Por: H. Tsorbatzoudis, P. Zahariadis e Symeon Vlachopoulos.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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Introduction
Researchers argue that sportsmanship development refers to early stages of childhood. Social-psychological model of
sportsmanship [1] has been introduced to describe the effects of social determinants (interpersonal) and psychological
(intrapersonal) motivational styles on sportsmanship orientations. According to the model important role to
sportsmanship plays motivation. Hierarchical motivation model [2] introduces sportsmanship as one of motivation
behavioural consequences. Specifically the model based on Self-Determination Theory (SDT) [3] Deci and Ryan
postulated that motivation varies according to the degree of individual’s self determination. Viewed through SDT,
sportsmanship has been found to be positively related to higher self determined patterns such as intrinsic motivation
whereas negative forms of sportsmanship were found to refer to less self-determined extrinsic motivation [1]. Duda,
Olson and Templin [4], viewing sportsmanship from achievement goal orientation point of view, argued that less task,
more ego-oriented motivational patterns foster unsportsmanlike behavior. Although research findings converge to the
notion that there is causal relationships separately for goal orientation and self-determination to sportsmanship there is
no relevant study to examine relationships in between these variables in early childhood. The present study was
designed to detect causal effects between goal orientations, motivation and sportsmanship orientations, as seen through
social-psychological approach, in physical education classes.

Methods
234 primary school children (age range 10-12 years, Mage= 11.25±1.17) participated in the study. All the participants
were actively involved to sport apart from physical education classes.
Instruments
a) TEOSQ [5] was used to measure achievement goal orientations. b) A scale from ΙΜΙ [6] was used to assess perceived
competence. SMS [7] was used to asses 7 motivational patterns according to hierarchical motivation model. d) MSOS
(Vallerand, et al., 1996) measures 5 dimensions of sportsmanship orientations namely: commitment toward sport
participation, social conventions in sport, rules and officials, the opponent and negative approach towards participate-on
in sport

Results
Path analysis using EQS 6.1 (Bentler, 2003) was used to assess causal effects between the variables. The model tested is
shown at figure below. Sportsmanship orientation and intrinsic motivation were considered as latent variables according
to social psychological model and hierarchical motivation model respectively. All causal paths were encountered to the
model under non-significant z-test values higher than 1.96. Model’s fit indexes were considered acceptable (X2/df=2.24,
CFI=.91, NNFI=.89, RMSEA=.07, SRMR=.67).

Discussion/ Conclusions
Results of the present study showed significant relationship between high self determination (intrinsic motivation) and
sportsmanship for children during P.E. classes. Low self-determination such as introjection, external regulation and
amotivation had very low to negative effect on sportsmanship. These findings enhance the notion that the role of
motivation to sportsmanship formulation should be reconsidered at the early stages of childhood, especially through
P.E. classes. The sequential relationship of goal orientation to motivation and finally to sportsmanship was showed that
task oriented climate more intrinsically motivated should enforced to the enhancement of sportsmanship orientations. In
conclusion we suggest the revision of primary school curriculum so that sportsmanship orientation could be cultivated
in early developmental stages of children life.

References
[1]. Vallerand. J. L., & Losier G. F. (1994). Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 16, 229-245.
[2]. Vallerand. J. L., & Rousseau, F. L. (2001). In Singer, R. N., Hausenblas, H.A., & Janelle C. M. (Ed.), Handbook of
Sport Psychology, 2nd edition, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Pp. 389-417.
[3] Deci, E.L., & Ryan, R. M. (1991). In R. Dienstbier (Ed.),Nebraska symposium on motivation: Perspectives on motivation
Lincoln, N.E.: Univ. of Nebraska. Vol. 38. Pp. 237-288.
[4] Duda, J., Olson, L. K., & Templin, T. J. (1991). Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 62, 79-87.
[5] Duda, J. & Nicholls, J. (1992). Journal of Educational Psychology, 84, 290-299.
[6] McAuley, E., Duncan, T., & Tammen, W. (1989). Research Quaterly for Exercise and Sport, 60, 48-58.
[7] Pelletier, L.G.,et al., (1995). Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 17, 35-53.

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