Academic journal article Journal of Sport Behavior

Intrinsic Motivation among Skateboarders in Relation to Goal Orientation and Risk-Taking Behavior

Academic journal article Journal of Sport Behavior

Intrinsic Motivation among Skateboarders in Relation to Goal Orientation and Risk-Taking Behavior

Article excerpt

Participation in extreme sports has mushroomed in recent years perhaps manifested best in the popularity of the annual X-games. Skateboarding has emerged as a popular extreme sport with an estimated 12 to 20 million enthusiasts nationwide (Bradley, 2010) and destined to be an Olympic sport. The appeal of skateboarding may be attributed to its freestyle nature, opportunity for creative physical expression, and occasion to engage physical risk-taking behavior. Given the popularity of skateboarding, it is a readily accessible medium to examine the nature of psychological constructs such as intrinsic motivation which may positively impact upon extreme sport participation. Only limited evidence has documented psychological constructs relevant to the sport of skateboarding (Boyd & Kim, 2007; Kern, Geneau, Laforest, Dumas, Tremblay, Goulet et al., 2013). The purpose of the study therefore is to examine whether goal orientations and physical risk-taking are significantly related to intrinsic motivation among skateboarders.

Risk-taking in sport has traditionally been examined utilizing the sensation seeking construct described as, "A trait defined by the need for varied, novel, complex ... sensations and experience, and the willingness to take physical, social risks for the sake of such experience" (pg. 27; Zuckerman, 1994). Roberti (2004) discusses personality correlates of sensation seeking including openness to novel experiences and resistance to physical and psychological stressors, biological correlates such as blunted Cortisol response to acute anxiety, and behavioral correlates in the form of high-risk sport participation. Extreme sport draws high-risk sport enthusiasts who tolerate an inherently high probability of injury and express elevated levels of sensation seeking. A wide range of extreme sport participants including surfers, water skiers, mountain climbers, hang gliders, sky divers, automobile racers, and scuba divers, report elevated levels of sensation seeking in comparison to controls not engaged in extreme sport (Breivik, 1996; Diehm & Armatas, 2004; Goma-Freixanet, 2004; Jack & Ronan, 1998; Wagner and Houlihan, 1994; Zarevski, Marusic, Zolotic, Bunjevac, & Vukosav, 1998). Zuckerman (2007) asserts sensation seeking enthusiasts seek out novel experiences and value the intense rewards such novelty affords, embracing a characteristic willingness to engage in physical risk-taking behavior in an effort to maintain an optimal level of arousal.

Theorists have begun to assess physical risk-taking in extreme sport with a much shorter response alternative than the more time consuming forty-item Sensation Seeking Scale (SSS-V; Zuckerman, 1996). Physical risk-taking has been found to be significantly related to sensation seeking behavior among extreme sports such as rock climbing, sky diving, skiing, and paragliding (Castanier, Le Scanff, & Woodman, 2010; Taylor, Gould, Hardy, & Woodman, 2006; Woodman, Barlow, Bandura, Hill, Kupciw, & MacGregor, 2013). Moreover, risk-taking behavior among skateboarders in particular is significantly correlated to sensation seeking behavior (Kern, et al., 2013).

Physical risk-taking behavior among extreme sport enthusiasts has been linked to a number of intrinsic motivation constructs, most notably self-efficacy. Extreme and high physical risk-taking skiers, rock climbers, kayakers, and stunt flyers, possess higher levels of self-efficacy than do low physical risk-taking sport enthusiasts (Slanger & Rudestam, 1997). Self-efficacy among rock climbers is a robust predictor of high risk, and extreme risk, described as leading a climb, or soloing a climb without a rope or protection, respectively (Llewelyn & Sanchez, 2008). Rock climbers with higher self-efficacy also pursue medium and high risk levels of rock climbing more often, and at greater climbing difficulty, than their low self-efficacy counterparts (Llewelyn, Sanchez, Asghar, & Jones, 2008). …

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