The purpose of this study was to examine relationships suggested by general achievement motivation literature and the popular literature in sport using the Sport Orientation Questionnaire (SOQ). The current study examined if faster runners are more competitive than slower runners, if older athletes were less competitive than younger athletes, and if faster runners were more goal oriented than slower runners. Distance runners (n=80), ranging from 10 to 61 years old completed race packets containing a cover letter, consent forms, the SOQ and a demographic questionnaire. Runners averaged 32.9 years of age and reported levels of competitiveness and goal orientation consistent with previous research. Results indicated that competitiveness and age were negatively related (r = -.44, p < 001) and competitiveness and personal best times for all race distances were positively associated (r = .28, p < .05 to .33, p < .01). Ability and goal orientation were unrelated. In conclusion, both ability and age, in addition to a variety of significant social and cognitive correlates, may contribute to the development and decline of competitiveness. Future research should examine the way that competitiveness and related cognitions develop and wane over the life span.
Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Cognitive Psychology | Health Psychology | Sports Sciences | Sports Studies
Martin, J. J., Eklund, R.C., & Smith, A.L. (1994). The relationships among competitiveness, age, and ability in distance runners. Journal of Sport Behavior, 17(4), 258-267.