Academic journal article Studia Psychologica

A Cross-Cultural Analysis in Predicting 2x2 Achievement Goals in Physical Education Based on Social Goals, Perceived Locus of Causality and Causal Attribution

Academic journal article Studia Psychologica

A Cross-Cultural Analysis in Predicting 2x2 Achievement Goals in Physical Education Based on Social Goals, Perceived Locus of Causality and Causal Attribution

Article excerpt

Introduction

Physical Education aims at promoting teenagers' commitment to and support of regular leisure time physical and sports activity. Physical Education (PE) provides students with opportunities to improve their relationships, cooperation and level of responsibility, as well as their skills. Therefore, it is important to understand the different personal and situational factors affecting teenage students' motivation and to deepen the analysis of their will to succeed, especially if we bear in mind that motivational goals are predictors of behavioral persistence (Vallerand & Bissonnette, 1992) and that other authors such as Telama et al. (2005) have stated that the practice of physical activity at an early age is significantly linked to the practice of physical activity in adulthood.

In this regard, the Achievement Goal Theory, a social-cognitive theory, has been one of the most widely used in recent years in the field of motivation studies in achievement contexts in the area of education (Chen, 2001), in order to analyze how students acquire, represent and use knowledge. When this theory is applied to the academic field, the dichotomous model explains that stu- dents can have task oriented mastery goals (based on efforts and improvement in the execution of tasks) or ego oriented performance goals (the aim is to obtain results and to show superiority in relation to other students) (Ames, 1992; Nicholls, 1989). The 2x2 model (Elliot, 1999; Elliot & McGregor, 2001) was created based on these ideas; this model holds that the central element of achievement goals is competition and that the value of this has to be taken into account rather than only its form. Therefore, this model includes four potential goals: mastery-approach goals (absolute and intrapersonal definition of competition and positive valence), performance-approach goals (normative definition and positive valence), mastery-avoidance goals (absolute and intrapersonal definition of competition and negative valence), and performance-avoidance goals (normative definition and negative valence). This instrument has been adapted to PE (Guan, Xiang, McBride, & Bruene, 2006; Wang, Biddle, & Elliot, 2007) and these studies have shown positive and significant correlation across the four achievement goals. Moreno, González-Cutre and Sicilia (2008) carried out a 2x2 achievement goals study with 813 students aged 11-16 years old and found that the promotion of mastery-oriented climates probably continues to lead to positive adaptation to physical activity. However, Wang et al. (2007) noted that combined profiles including both high performance goals and high mastery goals spark self-determined motivation in students as well as high perception of competition, good inter-student relationships, joy, effort, practice of physical education, and low levels of boredom and demotivation. However, some studies have found that task orientation is associated with more positive affective and behavioral patterns as opposed to ego orientation, which is related to less adaptive patterns. Furthermore, task orientation has been found to be associated with higher levels of sports practice outside the school (Cervelló & Santos-Rosa, 2000). This relationship is negative in the case of ego orientation.

If we take into account all the individual and environmental agents and factors which can affect teenage students' success in this educational stage, it is interesting to analyze social goals when studying achievement goals. Social goals are cognitive representations of the desired results at the social level and its consequences depend on the type of goals selected. Thus, students can also feel competent and successful in spheres other than the academic context (Urdan & Maehr, 1995); they can, for instance, have a social skill, which allows them to interact with the r est of t h e studen t s. Followin g Guan , McBride and Xiang (2006), we have described two social goals in PE (even though there are more, see e. …

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