Antecedents and consequences of approach and avoidance achievement goals: A test of gender invariance

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Objective:Based on Elliot's revised achievement goal framework [Elliot and McGregor (2001). A 2×2 achievement goal framework. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 80, 501–519], the present study tested the gender invariance of the multiple achievement goal measurement model as well as the hypothesized antecedents and consequences of the multiple achievement goals embedded in a structural model.Method:A sample of 450 British male and female athletes (M age=22.17, SD=6.59) were used. A multi-section questionnaire, assessing approach and avoidance achievement goals, perceived sport competence, fear of failure, and motivation regulations, was administered to the athletes before or after training. Data were collected with the informed consent of the coaches and the athletes.Design:Cross-sectional design.Results:Analyses of factorial invariance revealed that the four goal model could be considered as equivalent across gender. Only partial invariance was supported with respect to the antecedents-achievement goals-consequences model. The paths between fear of failure to mastery-avoidance goal, mastery-approach goal to intrinsic motivation, and performance-approach goal to extrinsic motivation regulation were not invariant for males and females.Conclusion:The factorial validity of multiple achievement goal measure was supported for both genders. The present findings provided only partial support for gender invariance in the 2×2 model.

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