A Retrospective Examination of Youth Athletes’ Sport Motivation and Motivational Climate across Specialization Status (pp. 33-46)
Authors: William Russell and Matthew Symonds
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine how the recall of former youth athletes’ motivation and motivational climate differed by whether they specialized in one sport. Perceptions of the youth sport experiences of 226 undergraduates (M age =19.55,
SD =1.27) were assessed by pencil and paper surveys. Questions on surveys related to current exercise and sport participation, youth sport motivations (SMS-28, Pelletier et al., 1995), and youth sport motivational climate perceptions (PMCSQ-2, Newton, Duda, & Yin, 2000). Self-reported specializers did not differ from non-specializers on exercise patterns as young adults, but were less likely to participate in sports as young adults compared to non-specializers (p<.001). Specializers and non-specializers did not differ on perceptions of motivational climate or youth sport motivations suggesting that neither of these factors accounted for the observed lower sport participation as young adults of specializers. Future research on current youth athletes is warranted.