Parental Goal Orientations and Beliefs About the Competitive-Sport Experience of Their Child1


  • 1

    The authors would like to thank Mr. S. J. McCracken, and the parents and children of Haydon School for participating in this study. The authors would also like to acknowledge two anonymous reviewers for their comments on an earlier draft of this manuscript.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Glyn C. Roberts, Department of Kinesiology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 906 South Goodwin Avenue, Urbana. IL 61801.


We examined the achievement goals of parents' in relation to their interpretation of their child's sporting behavior, preference for certain types of performance feedback about their child, the types of tasks they prefer their child to engage in, and their beliefs about the cause of their child's performance. The sample consisted of 96 parents whose children were in the first year (mean age 11.3) at a large comprehensive school in a major city in the United Kingdom. Parents' dispositional achievement goal orientations were differentiated by their responses to the Perception of Success Questionnaire (Roberts & Balague, 1989, 1991). Whereas differences in task orientation appear to be critical in the education setting (Ames & Archer, 1988), the findings of this study suggest that individual differences in ego orientation may be more significant in the competitive sport context.