Academic journal article Child Development Research

Measurement of Perceived Parental Success Standards in Sport and Relations with Athletes' Self-Esteem, Performance Anxiety, and Achievement Goal Orientation: Comparing Parental and Coach Influences

Academic journal article Child Development Research

Measurement of Perceived Parental Success Standards in Sport and Relations with Athletes' Self-Esteem, Performance Anxiety, and Achievement Goal Orientation: Comparing Parental and Coach Influences

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

It is estimated that more than 45 million children and adolescents participate in team sports in the United States each year [1]. Millions more likely participate in individual sports such as swimming and golf. This represents more than half of all people in the 6-18 age range [2]. Youth sports provide an opportunity for participants to develop important social skills, values, attitudes, and motivational styles. Achievement goal orientation, as described in Achievement Goal Theory (AGT), provides a framework for understanding how individuals interpret and respond to achievement activity [3-6]. AGT posits that by understanding the function and meaning of a person's success standards and goal directed actions one can understand his or her motivation.

Within AGT, there are two distinct achievement goal orientations--ego and mastery--that are used to define success and measure competency. In a mastery achievement goal orientation, success is self-referenced and characterized by achieving personal goals, task mastery, and exhibiting maximum effort and dedication [7]. Also, mistakes are not punished; rather they are treated as an opportunity for self-improvement [7, 8]. Because success is not evaluated relative to others, it is possible for young athletes with a mastery orientation to perceive themselves as having less talent or ability than others and still feel successful and competent [3, 4]. In contrast, an ego achievement goal orientation measures success relative to others and is characterized by outperforming or outwitting others, or by performing similarly to others, but with equivalent or less effort [7, 9]. Mistakes are considered unacceptable and they are punished. To have tried hard and "failed" with such an orientation would make the athlete feel particularly incompetent [4]. Furthermore, noticing personal improvement or knowing that one gave maximum effort would not elicit a sense of success or be viewed as a demonstration of competence if ego-oriented success criteria have been internalized.

Mastery orientation has been studied and related to high levels of achievement and positive motivational outcomes, such as the belief that effort is a cause of success, the use of problem-solving and adaptive learning strategies, the exertion of consistent effort, and persistence in the face of adversity [7, 9,10]. Ego orientation has been correlated with a number of less desirable outcomes, such as inconsistent effort, increased levels of performance anxiety, reduced persistence and increased rate of withdrawal in the face of failure, and a willingness to use deception and to cheat in order to win [7, 9,11-13]. When comparing mastery and ego achievement goal orientations, individuals with mastery orientations tend to display increased enjoyment, intrinsic motivation and interest, and satisfaction [7, 9,14].

Just as there are individual achievement goal orientations that can be classified as either ego-involved or mastery based, there are also situational climates that could be similarly classified. Motivational climates are classically defined as the pattern of normative influences, evaluative standards, rewards and sanctions, interpersonal interactions, and values communicated within the achievement environment [15]. Both climates are influenced by the interaction of personal and situational factors [5, 8]. For example, key socializing agents in youth sports, namely, coaches and parents, can create a climate that is strongly influenced by what they reinforce, as well as the attitudes and values they transmit through their words and actions. It is important to distinguish between these climates because they have been found to profoundly and differentially affect a wide variety of variables, such as an individual's self-esteem, sense of competency, quality of experience, and level of performance anxiety [4, 8,16]. In a mastery climate, socializing agents define success in terms of self-improvement, task mastery, and exhibiting maximum effort and dedication [7]. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.