Achievement goals, motivational climates and occurrence of and responses to psychological difficulties and performance debilitation among Korean athletes

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  • San Francisco State University


Moving toward an integration of achievement goal theory (Nicholls, 1989) and Lazarus' transactional approach of psychological stress and coping (Lazarus, 1996; & Lazarus & Folkman, 1984), this study investigated the relationship of dispositional goal orientations and perceptions of the motivational climate to athletes' perceived controllability over and ways of coping with psychological difficulties (e.g., low confidence, performance worries, loss of concentration) leading to performance debilitation in competitive events. Intercollegiate Korean athletes (n=404) participating in a variety of sports completed the TEOSQ (Duda, Nicholls, 1992), the PMCSQ-2 (Newton & Duda, 1997), Approach to Coping in Sport Questionnaire (ACSQ, Kim & Duda, 1997), and assessments of the degree of psychological difficulties experienced in competition and the perceived controllability over and performance debilitation associated with such psychological states. Multiple regression analyses indicated that a perceived task-involving team climate negatively predicted the degree of performance impairment experienced and positively predicted perceptions of control over negative psychological sates. Reported psychological difficulties during competition were positively associated with perceptions of an ego-involving team atmosphere and negatively linked to a perceived task-involving environment. Uniqueness indices indicated that perceptions of the motivational climate created by coaches were better predictors of athletes' ways of coping with psychological difficulties in competition than goal orientations. In general, athletes' who found their team environments to be more ego involving reported greater use of maladaptive coping strategies (e.g., behavioral disengagement, venting/negative emotion, denial, wishful thinking, and blaming self/others).


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 1998

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