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Title:A Cross-Cultural Analysis of Achievement Motivation in Sport and the Classroom
Author(s):Duda, Joan Lynne
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 present study was to analyze the goals and achievement orientations held by male and female members of two diverse cultures (Navajo and Anglo) in two distinct achievement oriented situations (sport and the classroom). Past theoretical perspectives on achievement motivation have been criticized for their failure to account for cultural, sex, and contextual differences. Based on more recent reformulations, the present investigation proposed a theoretical conceptualization which attempted to more sensitively account for variations in the motivation to achieve.
In the proposed conceptualization, it was assumed that individuals from different social backgrounds emphasize different conceptions of success and failure in different situations. These conceptions of success and failure are held to be the focus of achievement oriented behaviors and can be defined in reference to the individual or group. This focus may be differentially based on ability, effort or other valued elements in society. For example, present findings indicated that Anglo males tend to define athletic success with respect to ability while Anglo females and Navajo males and females tended to value sport success which was effort-based. Further, conceptions of success and failure could be differentially liked to outcomes or behaviors. For examle, there was a tendency for Anglo males and females to equate academic failure to outcomes (e.g., receiving a poor grade) while Navajo students tended to define failure in the classroom with respect to behaviors (e.g., not studying).
The proposed conceptualization of achievement motivation also assumed that various social groups in different contexts emphasize distinct social-psychological processes as the means to meeting the focus of their achievement behavior. It was considered that there are two major processes or achievement orientations--one which is social comparison-based and termed ego-involvement, one which is mastery-based and labelled task-involvement. Both achievement orientations can be oriented to the individual or group.
Cultural and sex differences in achievement orientations emerged in the present study. Anglo students preferred ego-involved academic success more than classroom success which was task-involved. Navajo students placed more emphasis on classroom task-involved success than Anglos. In sport, females placed the least preference on athletic success which was individual-oriented and ego-involved. Males indicated the least preference for individual, ego-involved sport failure.
These findings suggest that the motivation to achieve entails diverse conceptions of success and failure and distinct achievement orientations or means to goal attainment. Such theoretical considerations should point the way to a new perspective on achievement motivation which is more sensitive to cultural, situational, and sex differences.
Issue Date:1981
Description:159 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1981.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8203448
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-14
Date Deposited:1981

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