The influence of goal profiles on positive youth development


Positive Youth Development (PYD) concentrates on the positive aspects of youth development, with an outcome-based focus towards fostering positive outcomes and reducing negative maladaptations (MacDonald et al., 2012). Researchers have started to shift focus onto how different internal factors such as dispositions and/or personality characteristics could influence levels of PYD for youth participating is organized sport. Research has found that differences in task and ego orientation can influence changes in motivated behaviours (Duba 1989), which could further influence how an athlete perceives, behaves and participates within youth sport. The current study examined the potential influence of goal profiles on PYD. A sample of 100 youth sport participants (mean age = 16.8) completed the short form Youth Experiences Survey for Sport (Sullivan et al., 2013) to measure PYD, and the Task and Ego Orientation in Sport Questionnaire (Duba 1989) to assess each athlete's goal profile. A TwoStep Cluster Analysis classified individual's personal goal profile into 3 clusters: high task/low ego (n = 45), high task/moderate ego (n = 31), and moderate task/low ego (n = 22). A MANOVA of the YES-S factors revealed significant differences between the clusters with respect to Initiative [F(2,95)= 10.86, p<0.001, h2= 0.19] and Goal Setting [F(2,95)= 4.31, p<0.05, h2= 0.08]. Post-hoc analyses showed that the moderate task/low ego cluster was significantly lower than the high task/low ego cluster for Goal Setting and both of the high task clusters for Initiative. These results suggest that athletes who are more task-oriented may experience more positive outcomes from sport.

Acknowledgments: SSHRC