Parent-Initiated Motivational Climate and Young Athletes’ Intrinsic-Extrinsic Motivation: Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Relations

Daniel O'Rourke, University of Washington, USA

Theme: Motivation and self-perceptions

Poster Number: 54

Program ID: POS-1

Presentation: October 3, 2013 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Room: Napoleon


We studied links between perceived parent-initiated motivational climate, and motivational dynamics in youth sport participants from a Self-Determination Theory perspective. Measures of parent-initiated motivational climate and athletes’ motivational patterns were administered at early- and late-season over a period of 32 weeks. At both early- and late-season, high mastery and low ego parent-initiated motivational climate behaviors predicted higher levels of intrinsically-oriented motivation. Conversely, high ego and low mastery parent-initiated motivational climate behaviors were associated with more extrinsically-oriented motivation. Prospective longitudinal analyses of change revealed that early-season parent motivational climate predicted changes in the strength of intrinsic-extrinsic motivation over the course of the season. Specifically, a high mastery climate predicted increases in intrinsically-oriented motivation whereas a high ego climate predicted decreases in intrinsically-oriented motivation. The latter result has not been observed in studies of coach-initiated motivational climate, suggesting that parent-initiated motivational climate, particularly an ego climate, may differ somewhat from coach-initiated motivational climate in its impact on intrinsic-extrinsic motivation. Given the prevalence of positive effects under a mastery climate, including greater sport enjoyment, performance, and well-being, interventions have focused on developing a more prominent mastery climate. Effective interventions to promote a mastery climate have already been developed for use with coaches. Our results support the potential value of parent intervention programs that teach parents how to promote a mastery motivational climate.

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