Keywords: goal orientations, exercise intensity, physical activity, confidence


Purpose: to examine the moderating role of sport confidence and resultant the achievement goal profile with physical activity intensity during free play. Material: participants were 28 children participating in an after-school program. The 28 children completed measures of task and ego goal orientations and sport confidence two weeks prior to having their heart rate monitored during a free play session. Results: indicated that children with high sport confidence were characterized ( p < .05; Cohen’s d s > 1.10) by higher task and ego orientations and average heart rate over the course of the free play session when compared to the low sport confidence children. The moderate sport confidence children were not significantly different than the other groups expect for ego orientation though effect sizes indicated this group tended towards being more similar to the high sport confidence group. The results were confounded as all children in the low sport confidence condition were girls. Conclusions: Sport confidence moderates physical activity intensity during free play in children and is characterized by a higher ego orientation and generally higher task orientation. But given all of the low confident children were females, intervention work is needed at early ages with girls to build sport confidence and motivations for both goal orientations to hopefully increase physical activity intensity during free play.


Download data is not yet available.

View Counter: Abstract | 268 | times, Article PDF |


Dohle S, Wansink B. Fit in 50 years: participation in high school sports best predicts one’s physical activity after Age 70. BMC Public Health. 2013, 13(1), 110–120.

Nutrition, physical activity and obesity data, trends and maps web site. U.S. department of health and human services, centers for disease control and prevention (CDC), national center for chronic disease prevention and health promotion, division of nutrition, physical activity and obesity, Atlanta, GA [document on the internet]; 2015. Available from: (accessed 23.07.2015).

Viñas Fort J, Pérez Villalba M. Los hábitos deportivos de la población escolar en España [Sporting habits of the school population in Spain]. Madrid: Consejo Superior de Deportes, Fundación Alimentum y Fundación [document on the internet]; 2011. Available from: (accessed 23.07.2015). (in Spanish)

Lochbaum MR, Stevenson S, Hilario D, Surles J, Havenar J. Achievement goal profiles for female exercise participants. International Journal of Fitness. 2008;4,39–48.

Lochbaum MR, Stevenson SJ, Hilario D. Achievement goals, thoughts about intense physical activity, and exerted effort: A mediational analysis. Journal of Sport Behavior. 2009;3253–68.

Lochbaum M, Litchfield K, Podlog L, Lutz R. Extraversion, emotional instability, and self-reported exercise: The mediating effects of approach-avoidance achievement goals. Journal of Sport and Health Science. 2013;2,176–183.

Lochbaum M, Podlog L, Litchfield K, Surles J, Hilliard S. Stage of physical activity and approach-avoidance achievement goals in university students. Psychology of Sport & Exercise. 2013; 14, 161–168.

Roberts GC, Treasure DC, Conroy DE. Understanding the dynamics of motivation in sport and physical activity. In: Tenebaum G, Eklund R, editors. Handbook of sport psychology. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons; 2007. p. 3–30.

Lochbaum M, Kazak Çetinkalp Z, Graham KA, Wright T. (unpublished manuscript). Task and ego goal orientations in the competitive sport contexts: A quantitative review of the literature from 1989 – 2015.

Roberts GC. Understanding the dynamics of motivation in physical activity: The influence of achievements goals, personal agency beliefs, and the motivational climate. In: G. C. Roberts (Ed.). Advances in motivation in sport and exercise (pp. 1–50). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics; 2001.

Lemyre PN, Roberts GC, Ommundsen Y. Achievement goal orientations, perceived ability, and sportspersonship in youth soccer. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology. 2002, 14(2), 120–136.

Allen J, Taylor J, Dimeo P, Dixon S, Robinson L. Predicting elite Scottish athletes’ attitudes towards doping: examining the contribution of achievement goals and motivational climate. Journal of Sports Sciences. 2014, 33(9), 899–906.

Vlachopoulos S, Biddle SH. Modeling the relation of goal orientations to achievement-related affect in physical education: Does perceived ability matter? Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology. 1997; 19(2), 169–187.

Bai Y, Chen S, Vazou S, Welk GJ, Schaben J. Mediated effects of perceived competence on youth physical activity and sedentary behavior. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport. 2015, 1–8.

Roberts GC, Treasure DC, Balagué G. Achievement goals in sport: the development and validation of the Perception of Success Questionnaire, Journal of Sport Sciences. 1998; 16, 337–347.

Williams GC, Deci EL. Internalization of biopsychosocial values by medical students: A test of self-determination theory. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 1996; 70, 767–779.

Polar: Physical education [document on the internet]; 2015. Available from: (accessed 23.07.2015).

Crano WD, Brewer MB, Lac A, editors. Principles and methods of social research. Routledge; 2014.

Lee AM, Fredenburg K, Belcher D, Cleveland N. Gender differences in children's conceptions of competence and motivation in physical education. Sport, Education & Society. 1999, 4(2), 161.

Lirgg CD. Gender differences in self-confidence in physical activity: A Meta-analysis of recent studies. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology. 1991, 13(3), 294–310.

How to Cite
Marc RL, Emeka TO, David CB, Zisan KC. ACHIEVEMENT GOALS AND INTENSIVITY OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY DURING FREE PLAY IN CHILDREN: THE MODERATING ROLE OF PERCEIVED SPORT CONFIDENCE. Pedagogics, psychology, medical-biological problems of physical training and sports. 2015;19(11):72-7.