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Title:Achievement Orientations and Sport Behavior of Males and Females
Author(s):Ewing, Martha Elaine
Department / Program:Physical Education
Discipline:Physical Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Physical
Abstract:The purpose of the investigation was to determine if achievement orientations as defind by Maehr and Nicholls (i.e., ability, task, social approval) could discriminate persisters in sport from dropouts. A secondary purpose was to determine if males and females defined achievement similarly. Specifically, achievement was defined in terms of the antecedents and consequents of success and failure in both general achievement situations and in sport. It was hypothesized that males and females would define success and failure similarly in sport but would differ on their definitions in general achievement situations. With respect to the achievement orientations, it was hypothesized that, for both males and females, (1) all three achievment orientations would cause individuals to become involved in sport, and (2) dropouts would be more social approval oriented than athletes.
Subjects were 452 freshman and sophomore high school students (254 males and 198 females). Three questionnaires were utilized to assess subjects' sport history, definitions of success and failure, and achievement orientations.
The results of chi-square analyses revealed significant (p < .01) sex differences in defining success and failure in both general achievement situations and in sport. In general, male definitions were more tangible and objective, while female definitions were more internal and subjective. Because males and females define success and failure differently, it was concluded that subsequent analyses must be performed separately for males and females. Also, it was argued that the sex differences reported in the achievement motivation and attribution literatures may reflect these differences in definitions of success and failure rather than achievement differences.
Separate multivariate analysis of variance tests were conducted for males and females to determine if athletes and dropouts differed in their achievement orientations. In addition, a third group of non-sport participants was included in the analyses. Factor analysis produced four orientations as opposed to the expected three. For males, results supported the hypothesis that athletes represent all four achievement orientations. Contrary to the predicted hypothesis, male athletes differed from dropouts by being more social approval oriented. In addition, male dropouts were more ability oriented than non-sport participants. Significant differences were also found among female athletes, dropouts, and non-sport participants. Specifically, athletes were most discriminated from dropouts by the social approval orientation alone. Non-sport participants were more ability and task oriented than dropouts. Finally, athletes were more social approval oriented than non-sport participants who were more ability oriented.
Results of this study lend strong support to Maehr and Nicholls' conceptual and methodological approach to the study of achievement motivation. Further research is needed to determine situational factors that may interact with a person's achievement orientation to cause a person to persist or withdraw from an achievement situation.
Issue Date:1981
Description:235 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1981.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8127588
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-14
Date Deposited:1981

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