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Investigating the motivational profile of mentally tough collegiate athletes

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Item Summary

Title: Investigating the motivational profile of mentally tough collegiate athletes
Authors: Bair, Amy Elizabeth
Keywords: self-efficacy
Issue Date: Dec 2011
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [December 2011]
Abstract: This research examined the role of motivation, specifically autonomous motives and goal orientation, as it relates to the construct of mental toughness in collegiate athletes. By linking internal processes and the interpretation of social context, these constructs advance a holistic approach using positive psychological variables in explaining successful performance. University of California, Berkeley student-athletes (n = 232) representing 10 intercollegiate sports teams completed The Sport Motivation Scale (SMS; Pelletier et al., 1995), Task and Ego Orientation in Sport Questionnaire (TEOSQ; Duda, 1989; 1992), and Mental, Emotional, and Bodily Toughness Inventory (MeBTough; Mack & Ragan, 2008). Using multivariate regression to examine effects, the final model included gender with the following interactions: Task x Autonomy, Ego x Autonomy, Task x Ego x Autonomy. Task/Autonomy motivation reported significantly greater mental toughness across emotional, mental and physical sub-measures than the other two groups. Self-determination appears to be the primary theoretical framework associated with mental toughness. Yet, autonomous motives are not enough to override ego orientation at the collegiate level. Ego involvement leads to mental toughness decrements and reduced intrinsic effect whereas task involvement likely leads to greater achievement and perceived success. Scores did not seem to differ by class status, ethnicity, or sport background. Aspects such as type of sport, the sport being individual versus team focused, and whether the team recently experienced a national championship title appearance, did not have substantial bearing on mental toughness. Because the collegiate population is one step away from elite standing, it may be more worthwhile to study these participants as they refine mental toughness rather than those individuals who already have reached that level of success. The social context has a powerful effect upon forms of motivation with the development of motivational orientations influenced by those external factors. Being able to generalize results may depend more on the competitive environment that is established by coach and team dynamics than solely on population characteristics. Interventions to move individuals into a highly motivated, mentally tough mindset might involve changes to the motivational climate, aiming to promote a greater autonomy-supportive environment, and strategies that enhance the task-oriented belief.
Description: Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2011.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections:Ph.D. - Educational Psychology

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