On the nature and function of scoring protocols used in sport motivation research: An empirical study of the Behavioral Regulation in Sport Questionnaire


Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of different scoring protocols used with the Behavioral Regulation in Sport Questionnaire (BRSQ; Lonsdale et al., 2008) across varied outcomes. The BRSQ is a 24-item self-report instrument designed to assess motives that regulate sport participation using Organismic Integration Theory (Deci & Ryan, 2002) as a guiding framework. Methods: University-based female rugby players (N = 168; Mage = 20.36 years) completed self-report instruments assessing sport motivation (BRSQ) and motivational consequences (concentration, positive/negative affect, and self-rated performance) using a non-experimental, cross-sectional research design. Results: Effect sizes varied with different BRSQ scoring protocols (R2adj. = 0.01-0.44). Regression models using the Relative Autonomy Index or Autonomous/Controlled motives as predictor variables consistently accounted for less variance than item-aggregation models irrespective of the motivational consequence serving as the criterion variable of interest. Integrated regulation was the strongest correlate of concentration (r12 = 0.43) and self-rated game performance (r12 = 0.37) with intrinsic motivation the strongest correlate of positive affect (0.56). External and introjected regulation were both equally correlated with increased negative affect (r12’s = 0.34). Discussion: Self-determined yet extrinsic sources of behavioural regulation appear to be an important motivational resource for athletes competing in sport. The variability and differing conclusions evident when adopting BRSQ scoring protocols may result in confusion for researchers and practitioners. Scoring protocols used in sport motivation research employing the BRSQ represent a key consideration for researchers using OIT to disentangle the motivational basis of adaptive sport participation.

Acknowledgments: Funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada