Interactive effects of perceived ability and goal perspectives on enjoyment

Jean Whitehead, Monica Dorobantu

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Introduction. Achievement goal theory (Nicholls, 1989) predicts that perceived ability (PA) interacts with goal perspectives and that when low PA accompanies comparative (Co) rather than self-referenced (Sr) goal perspectives, enjoyment is lower than in the other combinations of PA (High/Low) and goal perspective (Co/Sr). Whitehead, Andrée and Lee (2003) confirmed this effect for perceptions of the motivational climate (C) as well as for dispositional achievement orientations (D). The present paper examines generalisation across gender within each type of goal perspective. Method. Sport talent camp participants (95 males, 120 females) aged 11 to 16 years completed questionnaires on dispositional achievement orientations, perceptions of the motivational climate, perceived ability, and enjoyment. Planned orthogonal comparisons were examined for both dispositional and situational (climate) profile groups for males and females, formed from median splits. Results. Consistent with predictions, for each gender and each type of goal perspective (a) the CoLo group reported lower enjoyment than the other groups, (b) the CoHi group did not differ from the Sr groups, and (c) the SrLo and SrHi groups did not differ. However, males had higher Co scores while females had higher Sr scores, and the effect was dependent on using gender-specific medians. Conclusion. This demonstrates that the interactive effect generalises across gender, as well as across type of goal perspective, when adjustments are made for differences in male and female goal perspectives.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003
EventProceedings of the XIth European congress of sport psychology - Institute of Exercise and Sport Sciences, University of Copenhagen
Duration: 1 Jan 2003 → …


ConferenceProceedings of the XIth European congress of sport psychology
Period1/01/03 → …


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