Examination of the 3x2 Achievement Goal Model in Collegiate Recreation: Comparison Across Sport Programs


  • Leeann M. Lower Ball State University
  • Brian A. Turner The Ohio State University




achievement goal, mastery, performance, recreational sport


Sport is a central achievement context through which participants’ direct competence-related behavior to achieve desired outcomes. Achievement goal theory provides a framework for understanding self-directed behavior in achievement contexts. Theorists postulate that achievement goals reflect one’s purpose and anticipated outcomes which guide behavior. To assess this psychological construct, several achievement goal measures have been developed, from a dichotomous model (Nicholls, 1989) to the most recent 3x2 model (Elliot, Murayama, & Pekrun, 2011). In the present research, the 3x2 achievement goal model (i.e., task-approach, task-avoidance, self-approach, self-avoidance, other-approach, other-avoidance) was translated for the collegiate recreational sport domain and tested against alternative theoretical models. A questionnaire was developed and administered to recreational sport participants (N = 614) at a large, post-secondary institution in the United States. Using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), the researchers found the 3x2 model to provide a better fit than the alternative theoretical models. These findings support the most recent theoretical advancement of the achievement goal construct. Through use of multivariate analysis of variance, significant differences across the six achievement goals were found between intramural and sport club participants. These results have implications for researchers and recreational sport practitioners seeking to measure and understand the motivational differences across sport participants.


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How to Cite

Lower, L. M., & Turner, B. A. (2016). Examination of the 3x2 Achievement Goal Model in Collegiate Recreation: Comparison Across Sport Programs. Journal of Amateur Sport, 2(2), 75–102. https://doi.org/10.17161/jas.v0i0.5689