The Impact of Sport Type on Goal Orientation and Self-Regulatory Skills Among College Athletes

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


Psychology and Special Education

Date of Award

Spring 2019


The past 30 years has increased researchers' knowledge of the complexity of individual motivation, achievement, and the various circumstances that impact one's motivation. Pintrich (2003) acknowledged that achievement motivation may be impacted by many individual variables and that a single theory cannot be used to explain what encourages individual motivation. The purpose of this study was to examine differences in goal orientation and self-regulatory skills among student-athletes by the type of sport they play, namely individual or team sports. NCAA Division I student-athletes at a university in the southern United States completed a survey consisting of the Perception of Success Questionnaire to measure goal orientation, the Self-Regulatory of Learning Self-Report Scale (SRL-SRS) to determine the level of self-regulated learning skills, and a demographic survey. Findings from this study include that team sports athletes had higher scores of ego orientation compared to individual sport athletes, individual sport athletes demonstrated higher scores on the reflection subscale of the SRL-SRS, and that task orientation had a positive relationship with all subscales of the SRL-SRS. In conclusion, the researcher found support of the relationship between goal orientation and self-regulated learning skills, as well as the role of athlete type in the disposition toward a specific goal orientation and reflection as a self-regulated learning skill. Future researchers may help to identify specific factors of goal orientation and self-regulated learning skills that could be developed to increase performance outcomes in a variety of realms including sports, music, and academics.


Lacy Krueger

Subject Categories

Education | Educational Psychology