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Keywords:

  • affect;
  • emotions;
  • goal orientations: meta-analysis

Achievement goal orientation theory has been the subject of extensive research in recent years. In view of the importance of identifying the motivational antecedents of affect in physical activity, this study examined through meta-analysis the conflicting evidence regarding the links between different achievement goals and emotions. Using the formulas of Hunter and Schmidt (1), correlations were gathered from 41 independent samples and were corrected for both sampling and measurement errors. The results showed that task orientation and positive affect were moderately-to-highly correlated and in a positive fashion, whereas the relationship between task orientation and negative affect was negative and moderate to small. Both correlations were found to be heterogeneous, and so moderators were sought. The relationships between ego orientation and positive and negative affect were positive but very small, with the former being heterogeneous. Moderators coded were the time frame of affect (independent of context vs. after an athletic event), the physical activity setting (school physical education vs. recreation vs. competitive sport), age (university vs. school students), nationality (British vs. American), nature of negative affect (high vs. low arousal), and the publication status of the studies (published vs. unpublished). Lastly, a subset of the corrected correlations were inserted into a structural equation modelling analysis in order to look concurrently at the relationships among all the variables.