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Examination of the motivational climate in the athletic training room.

Returning injured athletes back to their original playing status, as soon as possible, is a main objective for athletic trainers. Many factors play a role in how an athlete progresses through their injury rehabilitation. Some factors cannot be controlled by the athletic trainer, whereas, others may be within their control. For instance, situational factors (e.g., injury type, severity of injury) and external factors (e.g., life stress, social support) have proven influential on thoughts, actions, and recovery outcomes of the injured athlete (Brewer, 1994). Another factor that may have an effect on rehabilitation is the overall environment of the athletic training room. This environment can be described in terms of the motivational climate. Ames (1992a) highlighted the importance of the motivational climate in changing one's perceptions, influence, and actions within achievement setting such as the classroom, sports field, or athletic training room. A performance motivational setting emphasizes norm-referenced success and performance outcomes, while a mastery motivational climate emphasizes learning, effort, improvement, and success determined by self-reference criteria (Ames, 1992a). Individuals will perceive a setting as either a performance or mastery motivational climate depending on the environmental structure put in place by the authority figure (e.g., teachers, coaches, athletic trainers) (Ames, 1992a).

Previous research on the motivational climate in the sport setting has shown a relationship between the motivational climate perceived by the athlete and their psychosocial beliefs (Seifriz, Duda, & Chi, 1992; Treasure & Roberts, 1998). In two studies with basketball players, perceptions of a mastery motivational climate promoted enjoyment and intrinsic motivation (Seifriz et al., 1992) and satisfaction and positive beliefs about success (Treasure & Roberts, 1998), while perceptions of a performance climate were related to increased anxiety and getting punished for mistakes (Seifriz et al., 1992), and only being satisfied with normative success (e.g., playing better than a teammate) (Treasure & Roberts, 1998).

Based on these findings on the influence of the motivational climate in sport settings, it is possible that the motivational climate also has a role in other settings, such as injury rehabilitation. If the perception of the motivational climate in the athletic training room has an influence on athletes' psychological beliefs (e.g., enjoyment, intrinsic motivation, anxiety), then potentially the athletic trainer has the ability to generate the most conducive motivational climate in the rehabilitation setting. Athletic settings have a structural system with an adult authority figure that creates a recognized reward system (Ames, 1992a).

The structure and reward system of a learning environment is what ultimately creates the motivational climate (Ames, 1992b). The athletic trainer holds the authority position in the athletic training room just as the coach in the athletic environment. Thus, the athletic trainers' rules, reprimands, and behaviors construct the motivational climate in the athletic training room.

The possibility of improving rehabilitation adherence and outcomes could then perhaps be determined by the motivational climate the athletic trainer creates. With the findings (Seiffiz et al., 1992; Treasure & Roberts, 1998) reported in sports settings, it would seem more favorable to create a mastery climate in rehabilitation settings which should promote higher levels of enjoyment and intrinsic motivation, a trusted interaction with the athletic trainer, and the belief that success is related to effort and self-improvement during injury rehabilitation. By improving these psychosocial beliefs in the athletes, an improved adherence rate with their rehabilitation should follow. Injured athletes who responded to their rehabilitation with a higher level of self-motivation, belief that their treatment was successful, greater perceptions of social support, and a sense of personal control over their recovery, completed the rehabilitation exercises more often than those who did not respond to recovery with these situational and personal factors (Duda, Smart, & Tappe, 1989).

Investigation of the relationship between adherence rates and rehabilitation outcomes in sport injury recovery is limited. The available research has produced mixed results with an early report that adherence measures did not significantly correlate with outcome measures in ACL reconstruction surgery (Brewer, Van Raalte, Cornelius, & Petitpas, 2000). However, in a more recent study (Brewer et al., 2004) relating rehabilitation adherence and ACL reconstruction outcomes, the patients who attended more rehabilitation sessions and who were rated higher by their therapists on an adherence scale experienced fewer adverse knee symptoms compared to non-adhering patients. Therefore, improvements in sport injury rehabilitation outcomes such as pain, function, and return to play may result from increased adherence quality and rates of athletes.

With the connections of a mastery motivational climate to improved psychosocial beliefs to increased adherence rates and finally to enhanced rehabilitation outcomes, athletic trainers should be able to modify their actions and generate a mastery motivational climate for their athletes. But what individual characteristics cause some athletes to perceive the motivational climate differently than others? Previous research examined individuals' goal orientations. By Nicholls' (1984) theory, people regard their ability as the center of one of two different goal types. There are those individuals who judge their personal success through social comparison or by norm-referenced means, which has been termed as ego-involved. Other individuals believe their success is based on personal improvement or a product of self-referenced goals, which has been known as task-involved. Goal orientation is specific to individual beliefs about self, while the motivational climate describes an environments' atmosphere as a whole. The motivational climate attributes (i.e., mastery and performance) are closely related to goal orientation characteristics (i.e., task and ego). A pattern emerged in a study (Newton & Duda, 1999) examining the interaction between the motivational climate and goal orientations with athletes' perceived ability and beliefs about causes of success. Ego-involved orientation and performance climate were related to beliefs about success being ability focused, whereas effort centered beliefs of success were predicted by an interaction between task-involved orientation and a mastery climate.

The motivational climate in the rehabilitation setting, along with athlete's psychosocial beliefs about the motivational climate has yet to be examined. Therefore, the aim of our study is to determine if differences in athletes' personal characteristics are related to their perceptions of the motivational climate and to identify whether perceptions of the motivational climate in the athletic training room are related to athletes' individual goal orientation. We hypothesized differences in the athletes' goal orientations and other personal characteristics (e.g., gender, starter status, injury status) will be related to differences in their perception of the motivational climate in the athletic training room. A third purpose is to determine if higher perceptions of a mastery climate predicts greater rehabilitation enjoyment and perceived competence, while a higher perception of a performance climate will predict lower perceptions of competence and enjoyment with rehabilitation.

Methods

Participants

Both male (n = 92) and female (n = 108) intercollegiate athletes from 13 different sports volunteered to complete the research questionnaire at one university. Participants ranged in age from 18 to 26 years (M= 20.0, SD = 1.4), with 59.0% of the athletes reported being a "starter," 24.0% non-starter status, and 11.0% reported their status as a redshirt or medical hardship. Of the participants, 77.0% had sustained an injury during their collegiate career, and 90.0% (n = 180) reported having received treatment/rehabilitation from an athletic trainer during their collegiate career. Therefore, final analyses included only these athletes who had interacted with an athletic trainer (males n = 87, females n = 93). Additionally, 56.0% reported an occurrence of an injury during their current competitive season. Athletes were predominately Caucasian (90.8%) with African American (8.2%) and Hispanic (1.0%) also represented.

Procedure

Upon receiving IRB approval, head coaches of each competitive team were asked to cooperate with the investigator to schedule a team meeting. At the meeting, only the primary investigator and participants were present. Athletes were given a brief description of the study, provided an explanation of the procedures, and reminded that their participation was voluntary. Only those athletes who agreed to participate were asked to read and sign the informed consent. Once signed, the questionnaires were distributed and completed.

Measures

Perceived motivational climate in the athletic training room. The motivational climate in the athletic training room as perceived by the intercollegiate athletes was assessed using the Perceived Motivational Climate in Sport Questionnaire-2 (PMCSQ-2) (Newton, Duda, & Yin, 2000). The PMCSQ-2 was designed to have two principle scales (performance vs. mastery involving climates) and each of those to have three subscales Perceptions of a performance climate include (a) intra-team member rivalry (e.g., teammates competing against each other), (b) unequal recognition (e.g., only starters receive attention), (c) punishment for mistakes (e.g., athletes are ridiculed for error). Perceptions of a mastery climate include (a) cooperative learning (e.g., athletes are encouraged to work together), (b) effort/improvement (e.g., improvement is rewarded), (c) important role (e.g., each athlete is treated like an important member of the team). The PMCSQ-2 evaluated the perceptions of mastery versus performance oriented climates in the athletic training room. Athletes were asked to think of the general atmosphere in the athletic training room and then asked to rate their agreement on the 33 items designed to tap the six subscales. Mean scores for each subscale were then calculated. Slight wording modifications were used to be specific to rehabilitation in the athletic training room. Each statement began with "In this athletic training room..." and ended with different items related to either a mastery motivational climate (e.g., "... athletes feel successful when they improve") or a performance motivational climate (e.g., "... the athletic trainer has their favorites"). Athletes rated their level of agreement on a 5-point Likert-type scale, ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree).

Task and ego orientation in sport. The Task and Ego Orientation in Sport Questiomiaire (TEOSQ) (Duda, 1989) was used to measure each athlete's goal orientation in sport. Athletes were asked to think of a time when they felt most successful in their sport and respond to 13 items related to task- and ego-oriented criteria. All items began with the statement "I feel most successful in sport when..." and ended with either a task-oriented phrase (e.g., "... 1 learn a new skill and it makes me want to practice more") or an ego-oriented phrase (e.g., "... 1 am the only one who can do the play or skill"). A 5-point Likert-type scale was used to measure their responses, from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). Athletes' mean scores were then calculated for each subscale, with scores ranging from high to low for both task- and ego-orientation.

Sport rehabilitation enjoyment. The level of sport rehabilitation enjoyment was measured through a modified version of the sport enjoyment scale (Scanlan, Simons, Carpenter, Schmidt, & Keeler, 1993). The term "rehabilitation" replaced "sport" in order to adapt the instrument accordingly. The following three statements assessed sport rehabilitation enjoyment: "How much fun is rehabilitation for you?"; "How much do you like your rehabilitation?"; "How much do you enjoy rehabilitation?" A 5-point Likert-type scale was used ranging from 1 (not at all) to 5 (very much so).

Perceived rehabilitation competence. The athletes' level of competence in rehabilitation was assessed using items from the athletic subscale of the Self-Perception Profile for Adolescents (Harter, 1988). The 5 items were modified to say "Some athletes ..." rather than "Some teenagers ... and "sport" was replaced with "rehabilitation." The items were completed using a structured alternative response format, having the athletes first decide which of the two statements was more true for them, and then whether that statement was either "sort of" or "really" true for them (Harter, 1988). Scores for the items ranged from 1 (low perceived ability) to 4 (high perceived ability).

Athlete demographics. Athletes completed additional demographic information including age, gender, race, sport, starter status, injury status, injury history, and treatment status questions.

Statistical Analysis

All data was analyzed using SPSS. Preliminary analyses included frequencies, descriptives, reliabilities, and correlations. Following preliminary analyses, a series of multivariate analysis of variance (MANO VA) were conducted to determine any demographic differences on the athletes' perceptions of the motivational climate in the athletic training room. For all analyses, the PMCSQ-2 subscales (cooperative learning, effort/improvement, important role [mastery climate] and intra-team member rivalry, unequal recognition, punishment for mistakes [performance climate]) were the dependent variables. Athlete demographic information was considered the independent variables.

Second, in order to determine if the athletes' goal orientations play a role in their perceptions of the motivational climate, a MANOVA was conducted. Athletes were grouped based on z-scores of their task and ego goal orientations. These subsequent groups of athletes were then compared on their perceptions of the motivational climate. Particularly, the grouped athletes were compared on their mastery climate perceptions of cooperative learning, effort/improvement, and important role, and on their performance climate perceptions of intra-team member rivalry, unequal recognition, and punishment for mistakes. Due to the number of analyses involving the same motivational constructs, a Bonferroni adjustment was made, and the significance level was set at p < .01 for all MANOVAs.

Lastly, separate multiple regression analyses were conducted to determine if the athletes' perceptions of the motivational climate predicted psychosocial beliefs about rehabilitation. Level of enjoyment and perceived competence for rehabilitation were considered dependent variables, while the six motivational climate subscales (cooperative learning, effort/improvement, important role, intra-team member rivalry, unequal recognition, and punishment for mistakes) were independent variables. The significance level was set at p < .05.

Results

Scale Reliabilities

Alpha coefficients were calculated to determine scale reliabilities for all constructs: six motivational climate subscales, two goal orientation subscales, perceived competence, and enjoyment. All reliability values were acceptable, demonstrating alphas [greater than or equal to] .70, with the exception of one subscale for the performance-related motivational climate, intra-team member rivalry ([alpha] = .36). Due to the low reliability for this subscale, intra-team member rivalry was not used in further analysis. Table 1 shows alpha coefficients along the diagonal in italics, and correlations among the variables below the diagonal.

Demographic Characteristics and Perceptions of the Motivational Climate

Demographic differences were examined on the five subscales for the motivational climate through a series of MANOVA's. The MANOVA for gender differences was significant: Wilks' [lambda] = .91, F (5, 174) = 3.59,p < .005. A total of 9% of the variance of perceptions of the motivational was accounted for by gender differences. Male and female athletes differed significantly on perceptions of important role, unequal recognition, and punishment for mistakes (See Table 2). Analysis of the means revealed female athletes' perceptions of important role were significantly higher than males' perceptions, whereas the male athletes had significantly higher perceptions of unequal recognition and punishment for mistakes compared to female athletes.

A second MANOVA was conducted to determine if there was a difference between athletes' of varying starter status and their perceptions of the motivational climate in the athletic training room. The MANOVA was significant: Wilks' [lambda] = .88, F (10, 324) = 2.24,p < .02, with a 12% of the variance being accounted for by group differences. Table 3 shows the means and standard deviations by starter status for all motivational climate constructs. Differences emerged between the groups on unequal recognition. Post-Hoc Tukey tests revealed that non-starters had significantly higher perceptions of unequal recognition compared to starters. Ultimately, non-starters were more likely to perceive athletic trainers as having their favorites.

Lastly, a series of MANOVAs were conducted to compare athletes' injury and surgical history and their perceptions of the motivational climate in the athletic training room. With regards to the athletes' injury history during college and the athletes' perceptions of the motivational climate, the MANOVA was non-significant: Wilks' [lambda] = .97, F (5, 174) = 1.23, p = .30. The MANOVA for sustaining an injury in the current competitive season was also non-significant: Wilks' [lambda] = .98, F (5, 174) = .12, p = .61. Therefore, the athletes' motivational climate perceptions were not dependent on whether the athlete had or had not experienced an injury while at college and/or during the current competitive season. The MANOVA for history of surgery was also non-significant: Wilks' [lambda] = .99, F (5, 170) = .51,/? = .77. Thus, no differences in perceptions of the motivational climate existed between those who had surgery and those who had not.

Task and Ego Goal Orientations and Perceptions of the Motivational Climate

In order to compare the athletes' of varying goal orientations on their perceptions of the motivational climate in the athletic training room, athletes needed to be grouped according to their task and ego orientation responses. First, each task and ego subscale was converted to a z-score. Second, the athletes were classified into one of three groups for both task and ego subscales (low, moderate, high) based on [+ or -] 1 standard deviation (Newton & Duda, 1999). In order to group the athletes by the combination of task and ego goal orientations, 9 groups were formed (low/moderate/high task x low/moderate/high ego). Of these 9 groups, 4 groups were selected because they represented the most distinct goal orientation profiles: (a) low task--low ego (n = 35), (b) low task--high ego (n = 34), (c) high task--low ego (n = 23), (d) high task--high ego (n = 29). Only those athletes demonstrating these four goal orientation profiles were included in subsequent analyses. See Table 4 for means and standard deviations by goal orientation group.

A MANOVA was conducted to determine if athletes with different goal orientations differed on their perceptions of the motivational climate in the athletic training room. The MANOVA was significant: Wilks' [lambda] = .55, F (15, 312.35) = 5.01, p < .0001. A total of 45% of the variance of motivational climate perceptions was accounted for by group differences. Significant differences were found for each of the motivational climate subscales: cooperative learning, effort/improvement, important role, unequal recognition, and punishment for mistakes. In regards to differences on mastery climate perceptions, Post-Hoc Tukey test revealed, (a) low task--high ego athletes had significantly lower perceptions of cooperative learning than both high task--low ego and high task--high ego groups, who were not different from each other, (b) both high task groups had significantly higher effort/ improvement perceptions than both low task groups, and (c) high task--low ego athletes had significantly higher perceptions of important role compared to all other groups of athletes, with high task--high ego athletes reporting higher perceptions than low task--high ego athletes.

Additionally, goal orientation differences existed on performance motivational climate perceptions, (a) high task--low ego athletes had significantly lower perceptions of unequal recognition compared to all other groups, and high task--high ego athletes had lower perceptions of unequal recognition than low task--high ego athletes, and (b) high task--low ego goal orientation athletes had significantly lower perceptions of punishment for mistakes compared to all other groups of athletes.

Perceptions of the Motivational Climate Predicting Level of Enjoyment and Perceived Competence in Rehabilitation

Separate multiple regression analyses were conducted to determine the relationship between athletes' perceptions of the motivational climate and athletes' level of enjoyment and perceived competence for rehabilitation. The regression on level of enjoyment was not significant: F (5, 174) = 1.87, p = .10. The relationship between the motivational climate perceptions and perceived competence in rehabilitation was also not significant: F (5, 162) = 1.96 ,p = .09. Athletes' perceptions of rehabilitation competence were not predicted by perceptions of the motivational climate.

Discussion

The goal of this research was to specifically examining whether different personal characteristics, along with the athletes' goal orientation, would influence their perceptions of the motivational climate. Another purpose was to identify if the athletes' perceptions of the motivational climate in the athletic training room were related to their levels of enjoyment and perceived competence with rehabilitation. Results revealed certain athlete characteristics were associated with specific motivational climate subscale perceptions while other characteristics were not related. Numerous findings emerged with relationships between goal orientation and perceptions of the motivational climate. When examining psychosocial beliefs, the motivational climate did not predict rehabilitation enjoyment, or perceived competence in rehabilitation.

In regards to demographic findings, gender differences emerged on perceptions of the motivational climate in the athletic training room. Females had greater perceptions of the mastery motivational climate subscale important role, while males held higher perceptions of the performance climate subscales unequal recognition and punishment for mistakes, in the athletic training room. Previous research on the motivational climate in sport did not report differences between male and female perceptions; however, there are explanations for this finding. A cognitive-mediational model on coaches' behavior (Smoll & Smith, 1989) suggested that players' interpretations of the coaches' behaviors are influenced by their own personal characteristics (e.g., gender, age, race, etc). Thus, the athletes' perceptions of the athletic trainers' actions may also be influenced by similar characteristics such as gender. Another explanation for the differences in gender may be due to the athletic trainer creating a motivational climate which accommodates to the gender of athletes. Previous research (Gilbert & Trudel, 2004) found that coaches identified gender of the athlete as an important influence on how they conducted practice. Such gender differential expectations may also affect athletic trainers' decisions and behaviors in the athletic training room. Additionally the athletes' perceptions of the motivational climate may have been influenced by the gender of the athletic trainer or possibly each athletic trainer's specific method of giving feedback during treatment and rehabilitation. This may warrant further research involving how the athletic trainers generate the motivational climate (mastery vs. performance) in regards to the gender of both the athletic trainer and the athlete.

Athletes' starter status also showed differences in perceptions of the motivational climate, specifically indicating that non-starters felt a higher level of unequal recognition from the athletic trainer than did the starters. Horn (1984) and Rejeski, Darracoot, and Hutslar (1979) compared youth coaching behaviors directed toward higher-ability athletes and lower-ability athletes, and reported there was a difference in the type and amount of feedback received from the coach. Interestingly, those athletes categorized as lower-ability were given more instruction and feedback, both in general and for mistakes, than the higher-ability athletes. However, the higher-ability athletes experienced more athlete-coach interactions than the lower-ability athletes. A possible reason for lower-ability athletes to be given more feedback was due to the youth competitive level and coaches giving more assistance to those players who needed the help, or the lower-ability athletes (Horn, 1984). In the current study, athletes competing at the collegiate level may not perceive the biased instruction and feedback from their athletic trainer, and only interpret the frequency of athlete-athletic trainer interaction on a regular basis. Further research exploring the amount and quality of time athletic trainers give to differing starter status athletes along with perceptions of the motivational climate should be carried out to gain better insight.

The athletes' perceptions of the motivational climate were not dependent on whether they had experienced an injury, in the past or currently, or had a history of surgery. It was hypothesized that athletes working closely with the athletic trainers (i.e., those injured or post-surgery completing rehabilitation) would perceive the athletic training room as a climate that rewards hard work and persistence rather than effortless recognition. Previous research in sport (Fry & Newton, 2003; Newton & Duda, 1999; Pensgaard & Roberts, 2000; Treasure & Roberts, 1998) revealed that individuals perceiving a mastery climate had higher enjoyment, intrinsic motivation, and a belief that one's own effort was the cause for success. Creating a climate where effort and improvement is the main goal for rehabilitating athletes would provide a more enjoyable rehabilitation, better adherence rates, and possibly better rehabilitation outcomes (Brinkman & Weiss, 2010). For this study, injured and post-surgical athletes did not have significantly different motivational climate perceptions compared to non-injured athletes. Speculation can be made that the motivational climate is not influenced by working directly with an athletic trainer during rehabilitation, but rather by the daily interactions with the athletic trainer and the overall atmosphere they create in the athletic training room.

In the sport setting (Seifriz et al., 1992) a relationship was reported between perceptions of a mastery motivational climate and a task goal orientation, as well as an association between perceptions of a performance climate and an ego goal orientation. The current research supports that the same is true in the athletic training room. First, in regards to mastery motivational climate perceptions and differences among athletes' goal orientations, those athletes with high task orientations, regardless of ego orientation, had the highest perceptions of effort/improvement in the athletic training room. Task oriented athletes judged their success based on their own effort and individual improvements, similar to past research in the sport setting (Newton & Duda, 1999). For other mastery perceptions, higher task athletes had higher perceptions of important role and cooperative learning. Again, both high task groups were related to greater perceptions of a climate focused on learning and skill development. It is interesting that for important role, the high task--low ego athletes' perceptions were higher than all other groups, even the high task--high ego athletes. This implies that having a high ego orientation does not overshadow a high task orientation. However, for cooperative learning the higher task athletes' perceptions were only greater than the low task--high ego, but not the low task--low ego athletes. Different from the effort/improvement and important role subscales, perceptions of cooperative learning did vary depending on whether the athletes had high or low ego goal orientations.

For performance motivational climate perceptions and goal orientations, findings again supported past research (Newton & Duda, 1999) of ego oriented athletes having higher perceptions of a climate centered on norm-reference success compared to task oriented athletes. Unequal recognition perceptions were lowest in athletes with a high task--low ego orientation, and athletes with high task--high ego had lower perceptions of unequal recognition than low task--high ego athletes. Likewise, athletes with a high task--low ego goal orientation had the lowest perceptions of punishment for mistakes. The two groups represented with these findings hold the most extremes of the task and ego goal orientation and may be the reason for their significance. It is important to further explain the significance of an athlete's goal orientation in rehabilitation. For most injury rehabilitations, the exercises to be completed and goals to be met can be considered simple or unchallenging for most, if not all, athletes. In their normal competitive setting, athletes are giving their all in order to "be the best," "win the game," and "take home the championship." However, rehabilitation can take athletes down to a level where they need to get motivated to do a task as simple as quad sets. Athletic trainers need the athletes to feel successful when the only improvement they may make during a rehabilitation session is increasing their knee flexion by five degrees. Increasing an athlete's task goal orientation may be the way to accomplish this. With more of a task orientation, the athlete perhaps would perceive more of a mastery climate, and in turn, be more motivated, feel satisfied with simple successes, and ultimately produce enhanced outcomes with rehabilitation. Further research examining the relationship between motivational climate perceptions and athletes' goal orientation may help in determining why specific task and ego goal orientations are related to certain mastery and performance perceptions of the motivational climate and how these characteristics can lead to improved rehabilitation adherence and outcomes.

Another objective of this research was to attempt to link the motivational climate in the athletic training room to athletes' psychosocial beliefs; for this study, level of enjoyment and perceived competence with rehabilitation. Past research in sport (Seifriz et al., 1992; Theeboom, De Knop, & Weiss, 1995) reported individuals were more likely to enjoy their activity when either a learning and improvement based climate was implemented or when perceptions of a climate evaluating success as self-referenced were higher than perceptions of a climate with norm-referenced evaluated success. This study did not find the motivational climate to predict levels of enjoyment with rehabilitation; however, future studies should focus on the possibility of athletes' perceptions of the motivational climate predicting their psychosocial beliefs such as enjoyment. Additionally for this study, perceived competence in rehabilitation was not predicted by the motivational climate, which supports Theeboom et al. (1995) findings: children's perceived competence in martial arts skills, when tested, did not differ depending instruction in either a mastery or performance climate; yet the interview data revealed children in the personal improvement and self comparison (i.e., mastery) program believed they were able to learn new skills quickly, where as children in the traditional norm-comparison group (i.e., performance) believed it took a longer time to learn new skills. The same may be true for the current research, and the measure (Harter, 1988) used to examine perceived competence in sport rehabilitation did not tap the athletes' apparent capability with rehabilitation. Further research with other measures and techniques to better understand athletes' perceived competence in sport rehabilitation is needed.

We acknowledge there are limitations to this research beyond those commonly present with data collection through survey (i.e., participant honesty, survey errors, etc.). The small sample was made up of all competitive level athletes without the inclusion of recreational athletes and general public patients. This in mm provided only for data on perceptions of the motivational climate in a collegiate athletic training room and not in a clinic or hospital setting. The combination of these limitations may have played a role in our overall results, but this research should launch several other investigations to further explore the influence of the motivational climate in the rehabilitation settings with varying clientele--age, competitive level, activity level; and should examine additional constructs and outcomes. Other psychosocial belief factors, such as satisfaction and self-efficacy with rehabilitation, may be related to the motivational climate, which may also lead to better adherence to the rehabilitation program. Examining predictors of adherence constructs, such as motivation, commitment, and emotional responses to injury, may provide better results to make the link between increased adherence and improved outcomes. Duda et al. (1989) reported athletes had better adherence to rehabilitation when they had a higher level of self-motivation, belief that their treatment was successful, a sense of personal control, and high perceptions of social support. High social support from the physiotherapist was a predictor of higher rehabilitation adherence rates of athletes (Levy, Polman, & Borkoles, 2008). Further research with these psychosocial factors as the focus is encouraged. Brinkman and Weiss (2010) outlined strategies for the athletic trainer to promote a mastery motivational climate in the rehabilitation setting that would provide a supportive and conducive environment for the athletes' rehabilitation. Subsequently, the athletes' psychosocial beliefs would facilitate higher adherence rates and ultimately a quicker and enhanced recovery with higher quality outcomes.

Conclusion

This study revealed that the motivational climate is present in the athletic training room and can be predicted by athletes' goal orientation. The variations of perceptions found with differing demographics and individual goal orientations suggest that athletes' personal characteristics influence their perceptions of the mastery and performance climates. With the knowledge of the motivational climate existing in the athletic training room, athletic trainers now have the awareness of their words and actions creating an environment in which athletes receive treatment and rehabilitation. Depending on their goal orientation (i.e., task vs ego orientation) or individual demographic characteristics (e.g., gender, starter status, race), certain athletes will have differing psychosocial beliefs about one motivational climate compared to another, and they may respond and adhere better to treatment and rehabilitation when that environment is present. It will be beneficial to the athlete and athletic trainer for the generated motivational climate to have the most conducive atmosphere possible for rehabilitation in order to increase adherence rates of athletes and in turn produce better outcomes.

References

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Rachel E. Brinkman-Majewski

Upper Iowa University

Windee M. Weiss

University of Northern Iowa

Address correspondence to: Rachel E. Brinkman-Majewski Assistant Professor of Athletic Training, Coordinator of Athletic Training Clinical Education, Upper Iowa University PO box 1857 Fayette, IA 52142. Email: majewskir@uiu.edu
Table 1.
Correlations, Alpha Coefficients, and Descriptive Statistics
for All Variables

                  Cooperative     Effort/      Important
                   learning     improvement      role

Cooperative           .86
learning

Effort/              .46 *          .73
improvement

Important            .49 *         .57 *          .82
role

Unequal              -.22         -.41 *        -.60 *
recognition

Punishment           -.17         -.46 *        -.47 *
for
mistakes

Task                 .34 *         .54 *         .40 *
orientation

Ego                  -.15          -.08         -.33 *
orientation

Enjoyment             14            .20           .15

Perceived            -.02           .16           .04
competence
(3)

Mean              3.30 (0.62)   4.10 (0.38)   4.07 (0.56)
Standard
deviation

                                Punishment
                    Unequal         for          Task
                  recognition    mistakes     orientation

Cooperative
learning

Effort/
improvement

Important
role

Unequal               .89
recognition

Punishment           .61 *          .79
for
mistakes

Task                -.35 *        -.27 *          .76
orientation

Ego                  .33 *         .28 *          .14
orientation

Enjoyment            -.03          -.09           .11

Perceived            -.07          -.18           .25
competence
(3)

Mean              2.08 (0.65)   1.87 (0.49)   4.19 (0.43)
Standard
deviation

                                               Perceived
                      Ego                     competence
                  orientation    Enjoyment        (a)

Cooperative
learning

Effort/
improvement

Important
role

Unequal
recognition

Punishment
for
mistakes

Task
orientation

Ego                   .88
orientation

Enjoyment            -.07           .91

Perceived             .10           .14           .70
competence
(3)

Mean              3.13 (0.85)   2.47 (0.98)   3.06 (0.48)
Standard
deviation

Note. Alpha coefficients for each subscale can be seen along
the diagonal in italics, with correlations among the
variables seen below the diagonal.

(a) = Perceived competence on 4-point scale, others on a 5-
point scale; * p < .01.

Table 2.
Means and Standard Deviations for Perceptions of
the Motivational Climate by Gender

                              Males          Females
                            (n = 87)        (n = 93)

Cooperative learning      3.21 (0.69)     3.38 (0.55)
Effort & improvement      4.08 (0.39)     4.10 (0.37)
Important role            3.95 (0.59)     4.17 * (0.50)
Unequal recognition       2.18 * (0.67)   1.98 (0.63)
Punishment for mistakes   1.98 * (0.49)   1.77 (0.47)

Note. Standard deviations in parentheses below the means.
* = significant difference, p < .001

Table 3.
Means and Standard Deviations for Perceptions of the
Motivational Climate by Starter Status

                       Redshirt/
                        medical
                       hardship     Starter    Non-starter
                       (n = 203)   (n = 106)    (n = 43)

Cooperative learning     3.23        3.33         3.26
                        (0.64)      (0.66)       (0.52)
Effort & improvement     3.98        4.11         4.10
                        (0.37)      (0.41)       (0.30)
Important role           3.98        4.09         3.96
                        (0.46)      (0.58)       (0.53)
Unequal recognition      2.16        1.95*       2.41**
                        (0.55)      (0.59)       (0.71)
Punishment               1.91        1.82         2.02
for mistakes            (0.48)      (0.44)       (0.49)

Note. Standard deviations in parentheses below the means.
*, ** = groups significantly different from each other, p < .01

Table 4.
Means and Standard Deviations for Perceptions of
the Motivational Climate by Goal
Orientation
                 Low task--   Low task--   High task--   High task--
                  low ego     high ego      low ego       high ego
                  (n = 43)     (n = 37)     (n = 28)      (n = 30)

Cooperative         3.22        3.05 *       3.62 **        3.44
  learning         (0.55)       (0.56)       (0.50)        (0.70)
Effort &           3.96 *       3.91 *        4.40"        4.23 **
  improvement      (0.35)       (0.38)       (0.32)        (0.32)
Important role    4.04 **      3.71 **       4.58 *        4.17 **
                   (0.45)       (0.53)       (0.45)        (0.49)
Unequal           2.05' *       2.54 *        1.53"        2.03 **
  recognition      (0.39)       (0.67)       (0.64)         -0.73
Punishment        1.90 **      2.14 **       1.48 *        1.93 **
  for mistakes     (0.35)       (0.40)       (0.43)        (0.66)

Note. Standard deviations in parentheses below the means.

*, ** = groups significantly different from each
other, p < .0001
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Article Details
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Author:Brinkman-Majewski, Rachel E.; Weiss, Windee M.
Publication:Journal of Sport Behavior
Article Type:Report
Date:May 30, 2015
Words:6460
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