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Staying Motivated in PE Class

  • 3/19/2018 9:30:00 AM
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Staying Motivated in PE Class

Jihye Lee, M.Ed.

Achievement goal theory (AGT) has emerged as a major theoretical perspective to understand and explain individuals’ motivation and related outcomes in classroom and physical education (PE)/physical activity (PA) settings. AGT is concerned with how individuals evaluate their personal competence in achievement settings and how this influences the ways they participate in and manage physical activity involvement. For the last 30 years, AGT has evolved from the dichotomous model, to a trichotomous model, to a 2 × 2 achievement goal model, and finally to a 3 × 2 achievement goal model.

Along with the model development, AGT research has progressed in the following way: theorists posit a conceptual model, then researchers develop measures to assess the model and utilize these measures to conduct empirical work. Research in academic settings provides evidence that the 3 × 2 achievement goal model has more differential power in explaining college students’ motivation and related outcomes. The 3 × 2 achievement goal model proposes six achievement goals which include task-approach (Tap; focusing on attaining task-based competence), taskavoidance (Tav; attempting to avoid task-based incompetence), self-approach (Sap; concentrating on self-based competence), self-avoidance (Sav; trying to avoid self-based incompetence), other-approach (Oap; focusing on attaining other-based competence), and other avoidance (Oav; striving to avoid other-based incompetence). To date, a few studies have provided evidence to support the 3 × 2 goal model in the academic and physical activity settings. Specifically, there is only one study that examined the 3 × 2 goal model among French undergraduate students in a sport education class. The application of the 3 × 2 goal model is unknown among American college students in PA settings.

A study examined the psychometric properties of the 3 × 2 achievement goal model in 499 college students aged 18-26 years enrolled in PA classes (e.g., basketball, rock climbing, racquetball, swimming, soccer). This study assessed the participants’ achievement goals using the 3 × 2 achievement goal questionnaire which was adapted and revised for the present study. Participants completed the questionnaire, responding to all items on a 1-7 scoring scale.

Results of this study showed that initial confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was an inadequate model fit for the 3 × 2 achievement goal model. Thus, modification indices suggested the removal of such goal items, and the second CFA with the remaining 15 items indicated an excellent fit for the data. In other words, the six achievement goals were distinguishable among college students in PA settings. This finding expands previous achievement goal research and provides empirical evidence that the 3 × 2 achievement goal model can be utilized in the examination of students’ achievement goals in college PA settings.



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