Motivation in high school sport athletes: A structural equation model

Kristin Zomermaand, Thomas University, USA

Theme: Motivation and self-perceptions

Poster Number: 133

Program ID: POS-2

Presentation: October 4, 2013 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Room: Napoleon


There is a movement in our culture today to keep young people physically active. Sport is one avenue for physical activity, but teenagers involved in competitive sport often quit and never return to any sort of physical activity (Vanreusal et al., 1997). In light of this, motivational aspects of what keeps high school athletes involved in sport are important to consider. In the current study, athletes on 31 high school sport teams were surveyed to assess their perceptions of motivational climate, motivational needs, motivational regulations, and psychological outcomes. In line with self-determination theory, results for the study showed that a perceived task climate supported the athletes’ motivational needs. While relatedness and competence satisfaction were integral parts of the model as anticipated, autonomy satisfaction did not have significant associations with any other variable. Autonomous and controlled motivations were observed to have significant relationships with the outcome variables of athletes’ perceived performance, sport satisfaction, and intention to continue sport participation. Furthermore, a number of variables were observed to act as potential mediators in the model. In sum, facets of sport motivation including motivational climate and personal motivation regulations had an impact on how satisfied high school athletes were in their sports, their perceptions of their performance, and their intention to continue to participate in sport in the future.

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