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Differences in motivational orientation, exercise activity, perceived competence, sedentary lifestyle, and psychosocial well-being between participants in different sport events among Finish 11- to 15-year old students


Meganck, J.



In the '60's and '70's a lot of research was done to compare participants in different sport events. The aim of the present study is to extend this approach by introducing some of the concepts that have been developed since: motivational orientation, exercise activity, perceived competence, sedentary lifestyle, and psychosocial well-being. Differences in these variables are searched for between participants in 1) individual and team sports (DIV1), 2) no-contact and contact sports (DIV2), and 3) specific sports.


The data has been gathered as part of a larger project: the Health Behaviour of School-aged Children, an international study of the World Health Organisation. Specifically in Finland three psychological questionnaires were added: Roberts and Treasure's Perceptions of Success Questionnaire, Lintunen's Perceived Physical Competence Scale, and Rosenberg's Self-Esteem Questionnaire. There are included in the present study. The survey was presented in 1998 to 4864 children, a national representative sample of children at the ages of 11, 13, and 15.


Data are analysed with ANOVA, general linear model, with the type of sport event as independent variable, after which Scheffe's multiple comparisons test is used to specify which groups are different from each other. Crosstabs and chi²-analyses are also used.


Results of the first two analyses indicate that the sport event is not related to the presence of a sedentary lifestyle or to psychosocial well-being. Differences in motivational orientation are found but the choice for a sport event explains only a negligible percentage of the variance between athletes in individual, team or mixed sports; no-contact, contact and mixed sports; and participants in specific sports.


Significant effects are found for self-perceived physical competence and exercise activity, including the attitude towards physical education classes and the intention to be active at the age of 20. For the boys the means indicate that participation in individual or no-contact sports was related to worse scores on these variables than participation in team or contact sports, respectively.


Due to the small amount of female subjects in contact sports, this comparison cannot be made for the girls. However, results indicate that the girls in individual sports scored lower on these same four variables than the girls practicing individual and team sports simultaneously.

The same four variables are also the most pertinent when comparing specific sports.



scriptie voor de European Master's Degree in Exercise and Sport Psychology

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium & Jyväskylä University, Finland

Y. Vanden Auweele (promoter, Belgium) & T. Lintunen (co-promoter, Finland)




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