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Background. Contemporary research suggests that task and ego achievement goal orientations affect students' intrinsic motivation in physical education. This research has assessed intrinsic motivation as a unidimensional contruct, however, which is inconsistent with the more contemporary postulates of self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 1985, 1991) which states that intrinsic motivation is only one type of motivation. To date, research has not addressed whether different types of motivation at the situational level are influenced by the proneness to adopt task or ego involvement.

Aims. To examine the relationship between achievement goal orientations and multidimensional situational motivation in PE.

Sample. Middle school children (182 male, 136 female; M age = 13.2 years).

Method. Responded to questionnaires assessing their dispositional goal orientation (POSQ; Roberts, Treasure, & Balague, 1998) and situational motivation (SIMS; Guay, Vallerand, & Blanchard, 2000) in PE.

Results. Task orientation was found to be positively associated with more self-determined types of situational motivation. Ego orientation was weakly related to less self-determined motivation. An extreme group split was conducted to create four goal groups and goal profile analyses conducted. A significant MANOVA was followed by univariate analyses, post hoc comparisons, and calculated effect sizes, which revealed that groups high in task orientation reported more motivationally adaptive responses than groups low in task orientation.

Conclusions. The results suggest that a high level of task orientation singularly or in combination with ego orientation fosters self-determined situational motivation in the context of PE.