Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Achievement Goals and Physical Self-Perceptions of Adolescent Athletes

Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Achievement Goals and Physical Self-Perceptions of Adolescent Athletes

Article excerpt

Achievement goal orientations are affected by athletes' self-perceptions and behavioral patterns in achievement settings such as sport (Dweck & Leggett, 1988). Achievement goals reflect differences in an individual's conception of ability. The 2 x 2 achievement goal framework proposed by Elliot and colleagues (Elliot, 1997; Elliot & Harackiewicz, 1996), comprises four achievement goals: mastery-approach (MAp), mastery-avoidance (MAv), performance-approach (PAp), and performance-avoidance (PAv). MAp goals are focused on absolute or intrapersonal competence and a positive valence of competence (dela Rosa, 2010). In the MAp construct, competence is defined in terms of self-improvement. MAv goals are based on trying to avoid losing one's skills, abilities, or knowledge (Elliot & Thrash, 2001), and competence is defined in terms of the absolute requirements of the task or one's own gain pattern and is evaluated negatively. PAp goals are focused on doing better than other individuals (Elliot & Thrash, 2001) and competence is normatively defined and positively evaluated (Elliot & McGregor, 2001). PAv goals refer to avoiding doing worse than others and are focused on avoiding normative incompetence (Elliot & McGregor, 2001; Elliot & Thrash, 2001).

Competence is at the conceptual core of the achievement goal construct. Bong (2009) stated that achievement goals are strongly predicted by perceived competence. This probably mediates the influence of achievement goals on achievement-related outcomes (Adie, Duda, & Ntoumanis, 2008; Nien & Duda, 2008; Wang, Liu, Lochbaum, & Stevenson, 2009). Athletes who adopt PAp goals should be more self-confident (Stoeber & Crombie, 2010). In addition, Jagacinski, Kumar, Boe, Lam, and Miller (2010) reported that changes in perceived competence influence changes in the strength of endorsement of achievement goals. Darnon, Muller, Schrager, Pannuzzo, and Butera (2006) indicated that performance goals significantly predicted the reported amount of self-competence. According to Elliot and Church (1997), PAv goals are primarily a function of low competence perceptions. In contrast, self-concept and self-esteem are variables that are clearly associated with achievement goals (McGregor & Elliot, 2002). Pajares, Britner, and Valiante (2000) reported that PAp goals were associated positively with self-concept and PAv goals were associated negatively with self-concept.

The relationship between achievement goals and physical self-perceptions of adolescent athletes was examined. It was hypothesized that three physical self-perceptions, that is, sports competence, global physical self-concept, and self-global esteem would be predictors of four achievement goals. It was also thought that knowledge obtained from this study regarding the characteristics of achievement goals and physical self-perceptions would make a useful contribution to motivation in sport research.



Participants comprised 208 adolescent athletes of whom 120 were female (M [+ or -] SD = 16.33 [+ or -] 0.47) and 88 male (M [+ or -] SD = 16.38 [+ or -] 0.49) with a mean of age of 16.35 [+ or -] 0.48 years. Participants, who took part in handball and volleyball competition at a regional level in Adana, Turkey, reported that their sport experience was 4.00 [+ or -] 2.41 years, and they trained for 3.59 [+ or -] 1.75 days per week.


Achievement goals. The 2 x 2 Achievement Goals Questionnaire for Sport (2 x 2 AGQ-S; Conroy, Elliot, & Hofer, 2003) that has been adapted for use in Turkish culture by Kazak Cetinkalp (2009) was used to measure athletes' achievement goals. The questionnaire has four subscales: mastery-approach, mastery-avoidance, performance-approach, and performance-avoidance. Answers were given on a 7-point scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree). The reliability and validity for Turkish athletes were reported by Kazak Cetinkalp (2009). …

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