Self-Esteem, Achievement Goals, and Self-Handicapping in College Physical Education

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Abstract

This study aims to investigate the relationships among self-esteem, achievement goals, and self-handicapping and the potential mediating role of achievement goals in the relationship between self-esteem and self-handicapping in college physical education. The participants were 320 Chinese college students. Three validated scales were employed to assess participants’ self-esteem, achievement goals, and self-handicapping in college physical education. Results showed that self-esteem had a negative effect on self-handicapping. Self-esteem had a positive effect on mastery goals, but had a negative effect on performance-avoidance goals. Mastery goals had a negative effect and performance-avoidance goals had a positive effect on self-handicapping. Moreover, mastery goals and performance-avoidance goals partially mediated the relationship between self-esteem and self-handicapping, and self-esteem had both direct and indirect effects on self-handicapping in college physical education. The findings indicate that improving individual’s self-esteem and promoting mastery goals while reducing performance-avoidance goals may be relevant strategies to reduce self-handicapping in college physical education.

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