AbstractObjective: Grounded in Self-Determination Theory (SDT; Deci & Ryan, 2002), Burton et al. (2006) have advanced the differential effects hypothesis noting that identified regulation has stronger links with performance whereas intrinsic regulation has stronger links with positive affect. The purpose of this study was to partially replicate and extend the work of Burton et al. (2006) by testing the differential effects hypothesis in sport. Methods: University-based female rugby players (N = 112; Mage = 20.59 years; SDage = 2.09 years) completed the Behavioral Regulation in Sport Questionnaire (BRSQ), the Positive Affect Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS), and a modified version of the Game Performance Assessment Instrument (GPAI) specific to rugby using a non-experimental, cross-sectional research design. Results: Identified regulation (ÃŸ = 0.17) rather than intrinsic regulation (ÃŸ = 0.06) was a stronger predictor of self-rated performance assessed with the GPAI (R2 = .05; F(2, 109) = 2.61, p = .08). Conversely, intrinsic regulation (ÃŸ = 0.40) was superior to identified regulation (ÃŸ = 0.28) when predicting positive affect in sport measured with the PANAS (R2 = .38; F(2, 107) = 32.98, p < .01). Discussion: Overall, the results of this study extend the work of Burton et al. (2006) within SDT to the realm of competitive sport and imply positive affective responses while playing sport and enhanced performance may have different motivational signatures in athletes.
Acknowledgments: Funding Source: Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada