Motivation and Goal-Setting in College Athletes
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Motivation and goal-setting are important concepts in athletics and sport and exercise psychology. However, little research has compared motivation and goal-setting by gender. The self-determination theory was used and the purpose of this study was to determine if there is a difference between male and female athletes when looking at amotivation, external regulation, identified regulation, intrinsic motivation, and goal-setting. One hundred and six student-athletes (fifty one males and fifty five females) from a Division I college in Virginia participated in the study. These student-athletes compete in either cross country (n= 7), track (n = 16), field (n= 16), track and cross country (n= 8), track and field (n= 2), track, field and cross country (n= 2), swimming (n= 47), or diving (n= 8). The student-athletes completed two instruments; the Situational Motivation Scale (SIMS) and a goal-setting questionnaire. The results revealed that there was a significant difference between gender and question number two of the Situational Motivation Scale (“because I’m doing it for my own good.”) There was no significant difference when comparing gender to amotivation, external regulation, identified regulation, and intrinsic motivation. There was no significant finding between gender and the use of goal-setting. Lastly, a significant difference was found on number twelve of the goal-setting questionnaire (“I believe setting goals helps improve my performance”) based on year in college. In conclusion, there were no significant differences found between male and female athletes when looking at amotivation, external regulation, and intrinsic motivation. Significance was found on one identified regulation question. Females reported that they are participating in the sport –for their own good– more than males. There were no significant differences found between male and female athletes when looking at goal-setting.
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