The relationship between goal perspectives and persistence and intensity among recreational sport participants

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Colleges, School and Institutes


The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between identification with mastery versus social comparison-based goals and select motivated behaviors (i.e., persistence and behavioral intensity) in a recreational sport setting. A secondary focus was to examine whether variation in goal perspectives was significantly related to gender and previous competitive sport involvement. A total of 67 male and 67 female undergraduates who participated on a team sport in an intramural league responded to a questionnaire that examined their preference for mastery and competitive sport goals. The questionnaire also tapped the student's present participation in intramural sport (i.e., type of sport, years of involvement in the sport and hours/week spent practicing the sport in one's free time during the intramural season) and previous competitive sport history. In general, students who placed a high emphasis on mastery in sport were more likely to have participated in their sport longer and practiced their sport more in their free time. Goal perspectives significantly varied as a function of sex of participant and previous competitive sport involvement. Results indicated that females were less oriented to social comparison-based sport goals than males. This was especially true among males and females who had previously engaged in competitive sports.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-106
JournalLeisure Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1988