Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

Hope, Perceived Ability, and Achievement in Physical Education Classes and Sports

Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

Hope, Perceived Ability, and Achievement in Physical Education Classes and Sports

Article excerpt


Hope, perceived ability, and achievement in physical education and sports

Since the 1980s, research has been interested in the concept of hope as a strength of character that could have an impact on cognitions, emotions, and behaviors of individuals (Snyder, 2002). As such, many studies showed that hope is associated with better performance in areas such as school, sport, and work (see Lopez, Rose, Robinson, Marques, & Pais-Ribeiro, 2009, for a review). However, the processes by which hope influences performance remain unclear (Alarcon, Bowling, & Khazon, 2013). In addition, trait and state hope are often studied separately, so it's difficult to determine the differential effects of these variables on performance (Peterson et al., 2006). Thus, the aim of this paper was to investigate the distinct role of trait and state hope on performance in the context of physical education and to test the role of a potential mediator, namely perceived ability.

The Snyder's hope model

Hope can be defined as "the process of thinking about one's goals, along with the motivation to move toward those goals (agency), and the ways to achieve those goals (pathways)" (Snyder, 1995, p. 355). According to Snyder's model, hope includes two components agency and pathways. The agency thinking concerns the propensity to develop and support a sufficient motivation to achieve its own goals (Snyder, 2002). Pathways thinking refers to the ability of individuals to identify ways or strategies to achieve desired goals. Although agency and pathways components are reciprocal, positively related, and additive, they are not synonymous (Snyder et al., 1991). Furthermore, hope can be considered as both a stable personality trait and a temporary frame of mind. From this perspective, the Dispositional Hope Scale (DHS; Snyder et al., 1991) and State Hope Scale (SHS, Snyder et al., 1996) were developed and validated.

The role of hope in academic achievement

Hope is related to many outcomes, from physical and mental health to academic and sport achievement (Snyder, 2002). Previous studies showed that dispositional hope is positively related to academic success. More precisely, hope has being found to be positively related to overall Grade Point Average (GPA) in middle school (Gilman, Dooley, & Florell, 2006) as well as grades in high school students (Ciarrochi, Heaven, & Davies, 2007). Furthermore, Marques, Pais-Ribeiro, and Lopez (2011) demonstrated that hope is a predictor of academic achievement over a 2-year period in middle-school students. In a 6-year longitudinal study, hope remained a significant predictor of better overall grade point averages even after controlling for entrance examination scores (Snyder et al., 2002). Similar results were found when controlling for prior grades and self-esteem (Snyder et al., 1991) and in other longitudinal studies in which dispositional hope predicted academic achievement above intelligence, personality, and previous academic achievement markers (Day, Hanson, Maltby, Proctor, & Wood, 2010; Rand, Martin, & Shea, 2011). However, the influence of hope on academic achievement has not been systematically investigated in specific subjects, with one exception. Ciarrochi and colleagues (2007) found that hope forecasts total school grades as well as individual subjects' performance (i.e., English, Religious Studies, Math, Science, and Design) after controlling for gender and verbal and numerical abilities (Ciarrochi et al., 2007). Consequently, most previous studies examined grades by averaging grades across class subjects. Therefore, despite having performance for several subjects, the association between hope and achievement was not systematically explored across different school subjects. This distinction is important. It gives the opportunity to explore the differential effects of hope on success in different types of subjects in comparison to general school achievement. …

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