An examination of goal motives and athletes' self-regulatory responses to unattainable goals
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Developing upon previous research advocating the benefits of autonomous motives for personal goal striving (e.g., Sheldon & Elliot, 1999), this study examined the role of goal motives in predicting athletes' disengagement and alternative reengagement responses to unattainable goals. To assess responses to goal failure, 203 University athletes were asked to imagine that a current personally important goal had become unattainable. Structural equation modeling revealed autonomous goal motives to be negatively associated with goal disengagement but positively related to alternative reengagement. In contrast, controlled motives were found to be unrelated to both disengagement and reengagement. The findings are discussed in terms of the role of goal motives for individuals faced with imminent goal failure.
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