JOURNAL OF SPORTS SCIENCE & MEDICINE
http://www.jssm.org
 
Research article
 

THE EFFECT OF ACHIEVEMENT GOALS ON MORAL ATTITUDES IN YOUNG ATHLETES

Carloc E. Gonçalves1, Manuel J. Coelho e Silva1, Jaume Cruz2, Miquel Torregrosa2 and Sean P. Cumming3

1Faculty of Sport Sciences and Physical Education, University of Coimbra, Portugal, 2Faculty of Psychology, Authonomous University of Barcelona, Spain, 3School of Health, University of Bath, United Kingdoom

Received   29 March 2010
Accepted   20 September 2010
Published   01 December 2010

© Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2010) 9, 605 - 611

ABSTRACT  
The purpose of the study is to assess the hypothesis that achievement goal orientations will predict sportpersonship attitudes among young athletes, namely that task orientation will predict socially positive attitudes and ego orientation will predict socially negative attitudes. For hundred and eighty two athletes, aged 13 to 16 years completed the Portuguese versions of the Task and Ego Orientation in Sport Questionnaire (TEOSQp) and of the Sports Attitudes Questionnaire (SAQp). Bivariate correlations were used to examine the relationships between TEOSQp and SAQp. Afterwards, relationships between ego orientation and score agreement in cheating and gamesmanship as well as task orientation and score agreement in convention and commitment were examined through EQS (version 5.7). For the estimation of the model, the maximum likelihood method was used. A matrix correlation between the variables (task orientation, ego orientation, cheating, gamesmanship, convention and commitment) showed positive correlations between task orientation and convention (r = 0.29, p < 0.01) and commitment (r = 0. 40, p < 0.01). Ego orientation appeared to be positively correlated with cheating (r = 0.30, p < 0.01) and gamesmanship (r = 0.33, p < 0.01), and negatively with convention (r = -0.16, p < 0.01).The fit of the model was evaluated using the CFI (0.97) and SRMR (0.04). The hypothesized model was confirmed. Task and ego orientations produced a significant effect on prosocial attitudes and on antisocial attitudes, respectively. Task-oriented goals in youth sport programs can represent a relevant framework for promoting prosocial attitudes and consequentely increment the effectiveness of educational interventions.

Key words: Youth sports, cheating, gamesmanship, convention, commitment.

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