The influence of goal orientations in healthy-unhealthy students behaviours

Por: A. Papaioannou, A. Sagovits, G. Ampatzoglou e P. Kalogiannis.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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A central tenet of the multidimensional [1] goal orientations model (Papaioannou, 1999) is the rule of specificity. This rule was tested in life in general and in two different domains [3] of human action, that is, achievement in [4] physical education, and unhealthy [5]  behaviour.


The sample consisted of 2365 students (boys and girls) aged 13 and 16. The students completed questionnaires concerning goals and behaviours.


 Factor analyses established the construct validity of the measures and reliability analyses supported the internal consistency of the subscales. Results from hierarchical regression analyses confirmed the rule of specificity: goals in physical education and ‘life in general’ had an impact on unhealthy behaviours through goals in the unhealthy behaviour domain. In contrast, achievement goals in physical education mediated the impact of goals in the domain of unhealthy behaviours and ‘life in general’ on frequency of exercise. In all cases, personal development goals were positively related to exercise and negatively related to unhealthy behaviours. On the other hand, ego-strengthening and ego-protection goals were positively related to unhealthy behaviours.

Discussion / Conclusions

The results confirm the multidimensional goal orientations model and the significant influence of personal development goals in healthy students behaviors.



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[2]. Papaioannou, A. (1999). Towards multidimensional hierarchical models of motivation in sport.  Proceedings of the 10th European Congress of Sport Psychology (part 1), Prague , 45-52.

[3]. Papaioannou, A., Milosis, D., Kosmidou, E., & Tsigilis, N. (2002). Psychology, 9(4), 494-513.

[4]. World Health Organization (2000). Health and health behahaviour among young people.     Copenhagen.

[5]. Jessor, R. (1992). Risk Behavior in Adolescence: A Psychosocial Framework for Understanding and Action. Journal of developmental review, 12, 374-390.






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