Fitness-related self-conscious emotions and sport motivation in adolescent females: Does perceived athletic competence moderate the effect


Sport participation can provide many benefits to adolescent athletes; however, female sport participation tends to decrease significantly during adolescence (Eime et al., 2016; Sabiston et al., 2012). A commonly cited reason for this dropout is issues surrounding body image, such as fitness-related body self-conscious emotions (FSCE; pride, shame, guilt, envy and embarrassment; Castonguay et al., 2016). Researchers have suggested that perceived athletic competence (PAC) may buffer the negative relationship between SCE and sport outcomes (Sabiston & Pila, 2016). Thus, this study examined the relationship between FSCE, PAC, and sport motivation among adolescent female athletes. A sample of female athletes (13 to 17 years old) completed measures of FSCE, PAC, and sport motivation. Linear correlations indicated that fitness-related embarrassment (r= -.47), envy (r= -.46), shame (r= -.50), guilt (r= -.35), authentic pride (r=.47) and hubristic pride (r=.35), as well as PAC (r=.34), were all correlated with sport motivation (Sport Motivation Scale II: RAI composite score). All FSCE scales were moderately to highly inter-correlated. Due to multicollinearity, only shame and PAC were entered as individual predictors. Regression analysis showed that shame (B= -.45), but not PAC (B= .10) was a significant predictor of RAI (R squared= .29). There was also no evidence for PAC acting as a buffer as the moderated regression analysis indicated that a PAC x Shame interaction term did not make a significant additional contribution beyond main effects (R squared delta= .001). This research provides further evidence of the important contribution of body self-conscious emotions in predicting sport motivation.