Goal orientations at the global level of generality and in physical education: Their association with self-regulation, affect, beliefs and behaviours


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Abstract

Objective:Life skills programs should ensure that their effects generalize across contexts and activities. Three studies are presented examining the construct validity of an instrument assessing global goal orientations in life in conjunction with a measure of goal orientations in physical education. It was also investigated whether the effects of global goal orientations generalize across contexts.Method:Participants were middle school students (N = 351, N = 580 and N = 658) who completed the two goal orientations instruments, measures of self-regulation, affect and beliefs at the global level of generality and specific to the physical education domain and measures of exercise and academic behaviours.Results:Multi-sample factor analysis established the factorial validity of the global goal orientations' instrument and the distinctiveness of global goals from achievement goals in physical education. Controlling for social desirability effects, the partial correlations of goal orientations in life with global intrinsic–extrinsic motivation, life satisfaction, pleasant and unpleasant affect in life, purposes of life and perceived purposes of physical education, locomotion and assessment, metacognition in physical education, exercise and academic behaviours, were in the expected direction. In general, global goals made a significant contribution to the explanation of variance of global constructs, while achievement goals in physical education made a unique contribution to the explanation of variance of physical education specific constructs.Discussion:The results support the construct validity of the instrument assessing global goal orientations in life. They also indicate that global goal orientations are distinct constructs from goal orientations in physical education. The global goal orientations' measure can be particularly useful for practitioners teaching interdisciplinary and life skills.

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