Motivational Profiles and Psychological Well-Being in Masters Athletes

Felix Guillen, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
Robert Brustad, University of Northern Colorado, USA

Theme: Developmental/lifespan perspectives

Program ID: LEC-04C

Presentation: October 2, 2013 2:15 pm - 3:15 pm

Room: Jasperwood


Participation in competitive sport across the lifespan can reflect “healthy aging” although the motivational processes that underlie such involvement are not yet well understood. Self-determination theorists further contend that psychological well-being is related to individuals’ motivational characteristics in personally valued activities (Ryan, Sheldon, Kasser, & Deci, 1996). The purposes of this study were to identify distinct motivational profiles among Masters athletes and to determine if these profiles could predict psychological well-being. Participants were 267 athletes (162 males, 105 females, mean age = 39.99 years) competing in the Spanish National Masters Swimming Championships. Athletes completed the Sport Motivation Scale (Pelletier, Fortier, Vallerand, Tuson, Brière, & Blais, 1995) to assess motivational characteristics; the Sport Commitment Model Questionnaire (Scanlan et al. 1993) to examine sport enjoyment, personal investment, and enthusiastic and obligatory commitment; and a shortened version of Ryff’s Psychological Well-Being scale (Ryff & Keyes, 1995). Cluster analysis employing Ward’s method revealed three distinct motivational profiles. Cluster 1 (n = 78) was labeled the “highly motivated/highly committed group” and was comprised of athletes with very high levels of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and moderately high personal investment and enthusiastic commitment. Cluster 2 (n = 86) was the “average motivation/commitment” group with group means near the overall sample mean across all variables. Cluster 3 (n = 103) was the “low motivated/low committed” group with low levels of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and moderately low levels of personal investment and enthusiastic commitment. A follow-up ANOVA with planned contrasts across the three clusters revealed significantly higher psychological well-being in the “highly motivated/highly committed group” (Cluster 1) relative to the “low motivated/low committed” (Cluster 3) group. These results are consistent with expectations from self-determination theory and support the belief that high levels of motivation and commitment to competitive sport are associated with psychological well-being in Masters athletes.

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