Which goals are satisfying? Relationship between goal orientations and need satisfaction in leisure time physical activity

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Goals are part of complex motivational structures. Kuhl (2010) labeled these structures as motives and describes them as cognitive-emotional networks. Basic psychological needs shape the cores of these networks. According to this structure, the strength of the association between goals and need satisfaction determines the degree of internalization and the goal’s relevance. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between need satisfaction and goal orientations in leisure time physical activity? One hundred fifty-three climbers (CL, 66 women, 16-60 years old, M = 31.39, SD = 9.01) and 150 fitness athletes (FA, 71 women, 16-74 years old, M = 32.28, SD = 12.64) were asked to complete assessments of goal orientations by means of the German version of the Goal Content for Exercise Questionnaire (GCEQ; Sebire, Standage & Vansteenkiste, 2008) and basic need satisfaction through the contextual basic need satisfaction scale (CBANS; Kleinert, 2012). Multiple linear regression analyses tested associations between basic psychological needs (autonomy, competence, relatedness) and goal orientations (social affiliation, image, health management, social recognition, skill development). Analyzing both groups (CL, FA) separately showed that, social affiliation is predicted best by the needs for competence and relatedness (CL: R2adj = .34, p < .001, FA: R2adj = .29, p < .001). Basic needs were weaker in predicting image (R2adj = .12, p < 0.00) and health management goals (R2adj = .15, p < .001) in the CL group, and the health management goal in the FA group (R2adj = .05, p = .012). The goal of social affiliation is most satisfying and consequently the most internalized, independent of the type of activity. Simultaneously it is associated with high levels of well-being. Depending on the type of activity, different goal orientations are unsatisfying (CL: image, FA: health management), assuming a high externalization of these goals, which might be ascribed to social coercion.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings 14th European Congress of Sport Psychology : Theories and applications for performance, health and humanity
EditorsOlivier Schmid, Roland Seiler
PublisherUniversity of Bern
Publication date2015
ISBN (Print)978-3-033-05129-4
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventFEPSAC 14th European Congress of Sport Psychology - Bern, Switzerland
Duration: 01.01.180019.07.2015

ID: 920370

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