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Perceived purposes of sport among recreational participants: The role of competitive dispositions.

Although sport research has provided considerable insight into the participation motives and ability perceptions of competitive athletes, few studies have examined the nature of competitiveness and its impact on the preferred outcomes of sport involvement among recreational sport participants. The present study assessed the hypercompetitive and personal development competitive dispositions as well as the perceived purposes of sport involvement among a sample of 250 young adult sport participants. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses revealed that beyond the effects of age, gender, sport, and motivational goals, hypercompetitiveness positively predicted individualistic purposes of sport such as gaining social status, obtaining a higher status career, and learning competitive skills, whereas this competitive disposition negatively predicted the sport purpose of cooperating with others. Personal development competitiveness positively predicted the mastery/cooperation, selfesteem, and competitive skills purp oses of sport involvement. The observed impact of competitive dispositions on outcome expectations of sport involvement is discussed within the theoretical framework of Sampson's (1989) self-contained and ensembled individualism.

Research indicates that involvement in organized sport has the potential of developing both positive and negative perceptions among its participants. While several studies have linked competitive sport participation to enhanced self-concept (Marsh, 1998), self-esteem (Kamal, Blais, Kelley, & Ekstrand, 1995; Taylor, 1995), body image (Miller & Levy, 1996), achievement attitudes (Butt & Cox, 1992; Curry, Rehm, & Bernuth, 1997), and general mental health (Steiner, McQuivey, Pavelski, Pitts, & Kraemer, 2000), other investigations report relatively lower levels of altruism (Blair, 1985), moral development (Bredemeier, Weiss, Shields, & Cooper, 1986; Shields & Bredemeier, 1995), and sportspersonship (Allison, 1982) among athletes.

According to the tenets of achievement goal theory (Dweck, 1986; Dweck & Leggett, 1988), athletes' various interpretations of the sport experience are largely a result of their motivational orientation. Specifically, Nicholls (1989) argues that individuals' motivational goals within an achievement setting are closely aligned with their perceptions regarding the overall purpose of the activity itself. Thus, athletes' expected personal outcomes of sport participation may be better understood in light of their motivational perspective (Duda, 1992). Nicholls (1984) and colleagues (Nicholls & Miller, 1984) originally proposed that two types of motivational goals, task and ego, operate within achievement settings and reflect an individual's tendency to develop a sense of personal competence on the basis of either self-referenced or other-referenced information, respectively. Early sport studies found that task-involved athletes derive their perceptions of personal competence from task mastery, skill learning, self improvement, and maximal effort in the pursuit of goals, whereas ego-involved athletes feel successful when they outperform opponents, demonstrate superior ability with little effort, and receive positive external evaluations (Duda & Nicholls, 1992; Jagacinski & Nicholls, 1987; Nicholls, 1989).

Additional theorists (Dweck & Elliot, 1983; Maeher & Braskamp, 1986; Nicholls, 1984, 1989) have argued that motivational goals not only influence the development of perceived competence within achievement settings but also impact specific perceptions regarding sport participation. The motivational perspectives of athletes have been linked, in a theoretically consistent manner, to the type of personal benefits he or she expects to derive from participating in sport. For example, Duda (1989) found that task-involved high school athletes believe that sport is meant to develop intrinsic skills such as cooperation, task persistence, and good citizenship, whereas ego-involved athletes emphasize the extrinsic purposes of sport such as increasing one's social status and popularity, getting ahead in life, and gaining a competitive edge over the opposition. A similar pattern has been demonstrated among high school athletes (White & Duda, 1994), physical education students (Walling & Duda, 1995) and recreational athlete s (Ommundsen, Roberts, & Kavussanu, 1998; Roberts, Hall, Jackson, Kim Kimiecik, & Tonymon, 1995). Generally, ego-involvement is associated with the sport purposes of social status, competitiveness, and high-status career, whereas social affiliation, team membership, sport skill improvement, and ethical development are linked to task involvement in sport. Qmmundsen and Roberts (1996) observe a similar relationship between motivational goals and the purposes of sport training among elite athletes, indicating that task-involved athletes believe sport should enhance lifetime skills, whereas ego-involved athletes view the purpose of sport as improving one's social status and recognition.

Taken as a whole, the above findings appear to suggest that particular goal perspectives held by athletes are related to whether they believe sport is a means to strive "with others" (i.e., cooperation, affiliation, team membership) or, conversely, to strive "above others" (i.e., social status, career status, personal recognition). In this regard, athletes' expected personal outcomes of sport participation may reflect their competitive dispositions, that is, the manner in which they relate to others within the competitive sport setting. However, such speculation would imply the competitive dispositions of athletes have a bearing on the particular set of sport purposes they value. Unfortunately, few studies have examined the relationship between athletes' competitive dispositions and the personal outcomes they expect to achieve from their sport participation.

Sport psychology literature has conceptualized competitiveness largely in terms of its motivational components. Competitiveness has been defined as an athlete's tendency to demonstrate high levels of goal-oriented behavior such as seeking out competitive situations and striving for satisfaction against a standard in the presence of evaluative others (Gill & Deeter, 1988; Scanlan, 1988). Sport motivation researchers (Gill, 1993; Roberts, 1993) have operationalized competitiveness as the degree to which individuals pursue their sport-related goals. However, White and Duda (1994) suggest that high levels of competitiveness may simply reflect a greater adherence to ego-oriented motivational goals. These authors found that highly ego-involved high school and college athletes were more likely to emphasize the competitive and social status purposes of sport participation than their less ego-involved peers. In addition, various relationships have been reported between competitiveness (i.e., viewed as a form of motiva tion) and other indices of goal-oriented behavior both within and outside the sport realm (Gill & Dzewaltowski, 1988; Gill, Dzewaltowski, & Deeter, 1988; Johnson, Maruyama, Johnson, Nelson, & Skon, 1981).

Another line of inquiry has utilized competitiveness as a categorical variable in order to describe differences athletes' perceived purposes of sport participation. It has been demonstrated that athletes' expected outcomes of sport participation tend to become more extrinsic in nature with increasing levels of competitive sport involvement (Ryan & Deci, 1989). Chaumeton and Duda (1988) contend that athletes competing at high levels not only view sport as a means to personal ends but their reasons for sport participation deviate sharply from those reasons considered positive by society at large. Early studies have revealed negative relationships between increasingly competitive sport involvement and various prosocial attitudes (Blair, 1985; Bredemeier et al., 1986; Silva, 1983). In addition, White (1995) found that intercollegiate athletes largely viewed the purposes of sport participation in individualistic terms such as learning to become competitive and gaining greater access to prestigious employment. In c ontrast, recreational sport participants were more likely to view sport as a means of fostering regular physical activity and socially responsible attitudes. Similarly, semiprofessional soccer players reported to participate in their sport mainly to achieve greater social status, gain financial remuneration, and develop a 'win-at-all-costs' attitude, whereas their amateur counterparts participate largely to learn sportspersonlike behaviors (Carpenter & Yates, 1997). It is apparent that most sport researchers have studied the construct of competitiveness in terms of its motivational qualities or as a descriptor of sport level. However, competitiveness as a personality disposition has been largely ignored. The conceptualization of sport competitiveness may be enhanced, and its impact on the perceptions of sport participants may be better understood, through the application of relevant personality theory.

Hypercompetitiveness has been defined as the dispositional tendency for individuals to indiscriminately seek out and denigrate others within socially evaluative contexts in order to bolster self-esteem (Horney, 1937, 1950; Kohn, 1986). Alternately, personal development competitiveness has been defined as a personal tendency to facilitate personal learning and self-improvement through interpersonal cooperation (Ryckman, Hammer, Kaczor, & Gold, 1996). Although initial evidence has indicated low to moderate relationships between hypercompetitiveness and ego involvement as well as personal development competitiveness and task involvement, a conceptual distinction remains between these motivational goals and competitive dispositions (Ryska & Sekerak, in press).

Goal perspective theory (Duda & Nicholls, 1992) states that task and ego motivational goals reflect the specific criteria individuals utilize to derive perceptions of personal success within achievement settings. In contrast, hypercompetitiveness and personal development competitiveness represent the particular ways individuals engage in the interpersonal process within these achievement settings. In providing a more contemporary view of Horney's work, Sampson (1988, 1989) delineates two distinct sets of personal values that represent the underlying mechanisms of the hypercompetitiveness and personal development competitiveness constructs. Self-contained individualism is characterized by a rift between others and the self wherein others are excluded from one's personal self-definition. In this type of individualism the presence of others constitutes a perceived threat to self-interest, thus requiring the manipulation and exploitation of others through power, control, and denigration (Schwartz, 1992). Hypercom petitive individuals not only distinguish themselves by their lack of concern for the welfare of others, but also believe their self-interests can only be furthered through actively thwarting the efforts of others in pursuing their own self-interests (McBride, 1990; Ryckman et al., 1997). Alternately, ensembled individualism is characterized by the beliefs that personal interaction is not confrontational and the self may be developed and maintained only through a shared and common process of self-discovery with others (Sampson, 1989). Individuals who exhibit high levels of personal development competitiveness are likely to subordinate their own interests to those of the group in order to maximize mutual cooperation and close association with others in the evaluative setting. Ryckman et al., (1997) found that, as opposed to hypercompetitive individuals, personal development competitors are more concerned with the welfare and emotions of others, are more highly motivated to develop cooperative working relations hips, and place greater value on the shared experiences of the group.

Given the apparent distinction between sport motivation goals and competitive dispositions as well as the lack of representation of these dispositions in the sport literature, it would seem warranted to investigate the relative contribution of these factors to perceived purposes of sport participation. The purpose of this study was to determine the role of hypercompetitiveness and personal development competitiveness in the formation of sport participation expectations beyond the effects of gender, age, sport, and motivational goals. It was hypothesized that hypercompetitiveness would predict the self-contained purposes of sport participation such as learning competitive skills, enhancing one's social status, and obtaining a higher status career. Conversely, it was hypothesized that personal development competitiveness would predict the ensembled purposes of sport participation including mastery/cooperation, good citizenship, self-esteem, and active lifestyle.

Method

Participants and Procedure

The sample was comprised of 250 university students (142 males, 108 females) from a large metropolitan area in the southern United States. Eligibility for participation in the study required that individuals be active members on a recreational sport team which trained and/or competed at least three times per week. Participants ranged in age from 18-38 years (M = 22.69, SD = 2.63) and represented a variety of sports including softball (n = 86), basketball (n = 68), volleyball (n = 43), soccer (n = 35), and tennis (n = 18). The participation status of each individual was verified and small groups were arranged in a controlled setting for testing purposes. Standardized instructions informed all respondents as to their anonymous status as study participants, the confidentiality of their responses, and their right to terminate study participation at anytime. A debriefing session was provided for participants upon completion of the questionnaire.

If hypercompetitiveness was merely a sport-related phenomenon associated with elite athleticism, the theory and its application would be of limited value to sport researchers. However, it appears that both hypercompetitiveness and personal development competitiveness represent enduring personality dispositions that pervade a wide array of socially evaluative situations (Ryckman, Hammer, Kaczor, & Gold, 1990; Ryckman et al., 1996). In addition, several studies have reported substantial variability in both dispositions among high school and college students (Burckle, Ryckman, Gold, Thornton, & Audesse, 1999; Ryckman & Hamel, 1995; Ryckman, Thornton, & Butler, 1994; Ryckman, van der Borne, & Syroit, 1994). Therefore, it is plausible that not only would individuals in the present sample be as likely to exhibit their competitive disposition within the recreational sport setting as they would in other evaluative contexts but, also, these dispositions would have a significant impact on sport-related perceptions.

Measures

Hypercompetitiveness. The 26-item Hypercompetitive Attitude Scale (HCA; Ryckman et al., 1990) was used to assess individual differences in hypercompetitive attitude towards sport participation. Each item is scored along a 5-point scale anchored by 1 (never true of me), 2 (seldom true of me), 3 (sometimes true of me), 4 (often true of me), and 5 (always true of me). Adequate reliability estimates of the HCA (i.e., [alpha] = .65-.85) have been reported for both sport and nonsport samples (Burckle et al., 1999; Ryckman & Hamel, 1995; Ryckman et al., 1997; Ryckman et al., 1994; Ryska & Sekerak, 2000).

Personal Development Competitiveness. The 15-item Personal Development Competitive Attitude Scale (PDCA; Ryckman et al., 1996) was used to measure individual differences in sport competitiveness based on personal development goals (Ryckman, et al., 1996; Ryckman, et al., 1997). Each item had the following response alternatives: 1 (strongly disagree), 2 (slightly disagree), 3 (neither disagree nor agree), 4 (slightly agree), and 5 (strongly agree). Internal consistency of the PDCA scale has been demonstrated among athletes ([alpha] = .87-.91) (Ryska & Sekerak, 2000; Ryckman & Hamel, 1995) and nonathletes ([alpha] = .89-.91) (Ryckman, et al., 1996; Burckle, et al., 1999).

Motivational Goals. The 13-item Task and Ego Orientation in Sport Questionnaire (TEOSQ; Duda & Nicholls, 1989; 1992) was used to assess the tendency of participants to identify with ego and task motivational goals within the sport setting. Items are scored along a 5-point scale anchored by 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). The factorial stability and internal consistency of the task and ego dimensions have been reported by several authors in various sport-related contexts (Duda, 1992; Duda & Nicholls, 1992; White & Duda, 1994).

Perceived Purposes of Sport. The Purpose of Sport Questionnaire (PSQ; Duda, 1989) was used to measure respondents' perceptions regarding the values and benefits they expect to derive from participating in their particular sport. Each item is preceded by the stem, "a very important thing [softball] should do for me is..." and is scored along a 5-point scale anchored by I (strongly disagree), 3 (neutral), and 5 (strongly agree). Adequate Cronbach alpha coefficients have been reported for the PSQ subscales, ranging from .75 to .87 (Duda, 1989; Walling & Duda, 1995; White, 1995).

Response Bias. The short form of the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale (M-CSDS; Crowne & Marlowe, 1964; Reynolds, 1982) was used to assess the tendency of respondents to bias their answers in a socially desirable or self-effacing manner. A higher score on the 13-item M-CSDS indicates a greater need to present oneself in a positive light by distorting one's responses. It was considered necessary to control for self-presentational bias given the potentially negative self-referent content of the HCA items (Ryckman & Hamel, 1995; Ryckman, et al., 1996).

Results

Preliminary Analyses

The scales of social desirability, motivational goals, competitive dispositions, and perceived purposes of sport were each tested for internal consistency using Cronbach's (1951) alpha coefficient. With the exception of the M-CSDS, the coefficients for all measures ranged from .75-.87, meeting the reliability standard ([alpha] > .70) established by Kline (1998).

Two tests were conducted to assess the degree of multicollinearity present among the predictor variables. Pearson product-moment correlations were compared to the criterion level of near-extreme multicollinearity (r > .70) set forth by Tabachnick and Fidell (1996). Although none of the bivariate correlations exceeded the criterion level, variance inflation factors [I-tolerance] were also calculated to ensure that any multicollinearity among the predictor variables was within acceptable levels (Neter, Wasserman, & Kutner, 1990). Values exceeding 2.50 are generally considered excessive, indicating a potential effect on the least squares estimates (Allison, 1999). The highest factor value generated from the present data was 1.95 which casts doubt on the presence of multicollinearity among the motivational goal and competitive orientation measures.

A series of one-way MANOVAs were conducted to determine whether gender and sport differences existed in responses to the perceived purpose of sport, hypercompetitiveness, and personal development competitiveness measures. A significant gender effect emerged among the PSQ scores, F(7, 241) = 26.52, p < .002. Univariate analyses of variance revealed that female participants perceived mastery/cooperation as a more important purpose of their sport involvement, F (1, 248) = 14.50, p < .0008, ES = .067, whereas males placed more emphasis on the sport purposes of competitiveness, F (1, 248) = 6.85, p < .028, ES = .019, social status, F (1, 248) = 28.7, p < .0001, ES = .187, and career status, F (1, 248) = 16.3, p < .0006, ES = .087. No significant differences in PSQ scores were evident across the sports of softball, basketball, volleyball, soccer, and tennis, F (7, 241) = 1.21, p = .097. Males were significantly more hypercompetitive (M = 3.67, SD = .82) than females (M = 3.31, SD = .71), F (1 , 248)= 7.27, p < .01, ES = .096, whereas females reported higher levels of personal development competitiveness (M = 4.01, SD = .63) than males (M = 3.85, SD = .56), F (1, 248) = 4.19, p < .05, ES = .074. In order to determine whether levels of hypercompetitiveness and personal development competitiveness vary across the sports represented in the study, analyses of variance were employed with sport as the independent variable. A significant difference between sports emerged in hypercompetitiveness, F (4, 242) = 6.16; p < .001. Tukey's Studentized Range (HSD) post-hoc tests revealed that tennis players were more hypercompetitive than softball and basketball players (p < .01) who, in turn, were more hypercompetitive than volleyball and soccer players (p < .05). Sport differences also emerged in personal development competitiveness, F (4, 242) = 4.32; p < .001. Post-hoc tests indicated that volleyball and softball players reported significantly greater personal development competitiveness than the other sport participants (p < .01). Because significant gender differences were evident among several of the study scales, descriptive and correlational analyses were conducted separately for males and females. The means, standard deviations, and reliability estimates for both subsamples are listed in Table 1.

Examination of the bivariate correlations between the demographic variables of response bias and age and the perceived purpose of sport measures revealed several significant relationships. Male respondents with greater needs to present themselves in a socially desirable manner, as measured by the M-CSDS, reported lower hypercompetitiveness (r = -.38, p < .01) higher good citizenship (r = .41, p < .001), and higher self-esteem (r = .22, p < .05). Females scoring higher on the M-CSDS also reported lower hypercompetitiveness (r = -.28, p < .01), social status (r = -.32, p < .01), competitiveness (r = -.18, p < .05) and higher self-esteem (r = .45, p < .001).

Among the males, age was positively related to the sport purposes of mastery/cooperation(r = .67, p < .001), good citizen (r = .71, p < .001), and self-esteem (r = .50, p < .01). Similarly, the purposes of mastery/cooperation (r = .46, p < .001), good citizenship (r = .63, p < .001), and active lifestyle (r = .53, p < .001) were related to age among the female participants. Accordingly, adjusted correlations for both the male and female samples are presented in Table 2.
Table 1

Descriptive Statistics for the Study Variables by Gender

 Males Females
 M SD Alpha M

Social desirability 4.86 1.05 .63 4.76
Motivational perspective
Task involvement 4.05 .69 .83 4.12
Ego involvement 3.10 (**) .79 .78 2.89
Competitive orientation
Hypercompetitiveness 2.89 (**) .53 .85 2.63
P-D competitiveness 3.63 .55 .80 3.87 (**)
Purpose of sport
Mastery/cooperation 3.96 .50 .78 4.31 (**)
Competitiveness 3.86 (*) .58 .83 3.66
Good citizenship 3.48 .75 .85 3.50
Social status 2.66 (**) .71 .82 2.19
Self-esteem 3.80 .48 .75 3.86
Active lifestyle 4.09 .55 .86 4.11
Career status 3.29 (**) .67 .80 2.98

 Females
 SD Alpha

Social desirability .89 .58
Motivational perspective
Task involvement .42 .86
Ego involvement .82 .80
Competitive orientation
Hypercompetitiveness .44 .87
P-D competitiveness .48 .79
Purpose of sport
Mastery/cooperation .61 .82
Competitiveness .33 .80
Good citizenship .63 .82
Social status .66 .84
Self-esteem .50 .78
Active lifestyle .61 .87
Career status .54 .83

Note: (*)p<.05.

(**)p<.01.

(***)p<.001.
Table 2

Adjusted Correlations Among the Study Variables for Males and Femals

 1 2 3 4

 1. Task Involvement 08 -36 (**) 35 (**)
 2. Ego Involvement 12 16 -08
 3. Hyper-competitiveness 40 (***) 10 23 (*)
 4. P-D Competitiveness 38 (***) -25 (*) 18 (*)
 5. Mastery/Cooperation 42 (***) -08 -33 (**) 43 (***)
 6. Competitiveness 18 (*) 26 (*) 18 (*) 32 (**)
 7. Good Citizenship 17 05 -23 (*) 39 (***)
 8. Social Status -23 (*) 41 (***) 35 (**) -32 (**)
 9. Self-Esteem 35 (***) 20 (*) 17 15
10. Active Lifestyle 21 (*) 09 -07 20 (*)
11. Career Status -07 15 25 (*) 51 (***)

 5 6 7 8

 1. Task Involvement 27 (*) 21 (*) 40 (***) 38 (***)
 2. Ego Involvement -01 31 (**) 05 34 (**)
 3. Hyper-competitiveness -42 (***) 25 (*) -32 (**) 19
 4. P-D Competitiveness 40 (***) 18 (*) 43 (***) 26 (**)
 5. Mastery/Cooperation 24 (*) 36 (**) 38 (***)
 6. Competitiveness 22 (*) 40 (***) 47 (***)
 7. Good Citizenship 35 (**) 25 (*) 13
 8. Social Status 29 (**) 23 (*) 09
 9. Self-Esteem 45 (***) 50 (***) 41 (***) 14
10. Active Lifestyle 44 (***) 07 33 (**) 10
11. Career Status 18 (*) 08 22 (*) 50 (***)

 9 10 11

 1. Task Involvement -18 24 (*) 12
 2. Ego Involvement 41 (***) 13 16
 3. Hyper-competitiveness 46 (***) 12 21 (*)
 4. P-D Competitiveness -33 (**) 24 (*) -03
 5. Mastery/Cooperation 28 (**) 39 (***) 10
 6. Competitiveness 19 (*) -08 19 (*)
 7. Good Citizenship 42 (***) 32 (**) 17
 8. Social Status 22 (*) 11 05
 9. Self-Esteem 40 (***) 47 (***)
10. Active Lifestyle 42 (***) 18 (*)
11. Career Status 35 (***) 13

Note: Male correlations on the upper diagonal. Female correlations on
the lower diagonal.

(*)p < .05

(**)p < .01.

(***)p < .001


Multiple Regression Analyses

It was hypothesized that the mastery/cooperation purpose of sport would be predicted by personal development competitiveness. The regression analysis (Table 3) indicated that main effects for the demographic factors were significant, [DELTA]F(3, 245) = 6. 19p <.01, explaining 23% of the variance in the dependent measure. Positive relationships were present between mastery/cooperation and both gender ([beta] = .32, p < .01) and age ([beta] = .26, p < .05). Main effects were also significant for motivational goals, [DELTA]F (2,246) = 4.89, p < .01, contributing an additional 13% in explained variance. Task involvement was positively related to mastery/cooperation ([beta] = .35,p <.001). However, after controlling for the effects of gender, age, sport, and motivational goals, competitive dispositions explained almost 9% of additional variance in mastery/cooperation, adj. [DELTA][R.sup.2] .085,[DELTA]F (2,246) = 2.58 p < .05. As predicted, personal development competitiveness was positively related to mastery/co operation ([beta] = .122,p < .05), indicating that participants who demonstrated a high degree of personal development competitiveness were more likely to view the purpose of their sport involvement as a means to teach them to expend maximal effort, work cooperatively with others, and learn teamwork. Unexpectedly, hypercompetitiveness was also related to mastery/cooperation ([beta] = -.l85,p < .0 1), indicating that hypercompetitive participants tend to de-emphasize the cooperative and mastery-based purposes of their sport involvement. With all variables included, the total model was significant, explaining nearly 46% of the variance in the mastery/cooperation purpose of sport (adj. [R.sup.2] .455,p < .000).

The regression analysis provided support for the hypothesis that hypercompetitiveness would predict the competitiveness purpose of sport participation. The main effects for the demographic variables, [DELTA]F(3,245) = 7.82p < .01, adj. [DELTA][R.sup.2] = .143, and motivational goals, [DELTA]F(2,246)= 7.82, p < .01, adj. [DELTA][R.sup.2] = .157, were significant with gender ([beta] .185, p < .001) and ego involvement ([beta] = .446, p <.001) as the main predictors of competitiveness at each step, respectively. Competitive dispositions accounted for 12% of additional variance in competitiveness beyond the effects of age, gender, sport type, and motivational goals, [DELTA]F (2,246) = 5.82 p < .01, adj. [DELTA][R.sup.2] = .122. According to predictions, hypercompetitiveness predicted participants' perceptions that their sport should teach them how to compete and demonstrate competitive behaviors ([beta] = .381, p < .001). However, participants higher in personal development competitiveness were also more likely t o emphasize this sport purpose([beta] = .135, p < .05). The total model was significant, explaining 42% of the variance in the perceived sport purpose of competitiveness (adj. R2 = .422,p < .000).

It was predicted that personal development competitiveness would contribute to the perceived sport purpose of good citizenship beyond the effects of the demographic and motivational goal variables. The main effects for the demographic variables, [DELTA]F (3,245) = 5.73 p < .001, adj. [DELTA][R.sup.2] .138, and motivational goals, [DELTA]F(2,246) = 2.23 p < .05, adj. [DELTA][R.sup.2] = .101, were significant with gender, ([beta] = .361 ,p < .01), age ([beta] = .218, p < .05), and task involvement ([beta] = .612, p < .001) as the main predictors at their respective steps in the equation. Although the relationship between personal development competitiveness and the good citizen sport purpose was in the hypothesized direction ([beta] = .237,p < .05), the overall contribution of competitive dispositions failed to reach significance, [DELTA]F (2,246) = 1.85 p > .05, adj. [DELTA][R.sup.2] = .024. The total model was significant, explaining 26% of the variance in good citizenship (adj. [R.sup.2] = .263, p < .001).

The regression equation offered partial support for the predicted contribution of hypercompetitiveness to the sport purpose of enhancing social status. Significant main effects were present for motivational goals, [DELTA]F (2,246) = 4.62, p < .01, adj. [DELTA][R.sup.2] = .106, with ego involvement ([beta] = .338, p < .01) positively related to this sport purpose. Beyond the influence of motivational goals, the competitive dispositions explained almost 19% of additional variance in social status, [DELTA]F (2, 246) = 7.33, p < .001, adj. [DELTA][R.sup.2] = .187. As predicted, hypercompetitive participants placed more emphasis on their sport involvement as an opportunity to increase their popularity and achieve over others ([beta] = .227, p < .001). The total model explained 32% of the variation in social status (adj. [DELTA][R.sup.2] = .321, p < .000).

Both hypercompetitiveness and personal development competitiveness were expected to influence participants' perceptions with regards to the esteem-enhancing aspect of their sport involvement. Significant main effects for the demographic variables, [DELTA]F (4, 244) = 1.88, p < .05, adj. [DELTA][R.sup.2] .084, motivational goals [DELTA]F (2, 246) = 3.12 p < .01, adj. [DELTA][R.sup.2] = .146, and competitive dispositions, [DELTA]F (2, 246) = 4.03 p < .01, adj. [DELTA][R.sup.2] = .074, indicate that beyond the effects of social desirability, age, and task involvement, participants' competitive dispositions significantly predict the degree to which they believe the purpose of participating in sport is to enhance personal self-esteem. Both hypercompetitiveness ([beta] = .101, p < .05). and personal development competitiveness ([beta] = .381, p < .01). were related to this sport purpose. With all variables included, the total model for self-esteem was significant (adj. [DELTA][R.sup.2] = .304, p < .01).

Personal development competitiveness was expected to predict the degree to which participants endorse the sport purpose of promoting a physically active lifestyle. Only main effects for motivational goals were significant, [DELTA]F (4, 244) = 2.95, p < .05, adj. [DELTA][R.sup.2] = .072, indicating that task involvement ([beta] = .203, p < .01) was positively related to this sport purpose. However, the total model did not reach significance (total adj. [R.sup.2] = .107, p >.05).

Lastly, hypercompetitiveness was expected to predict the degree to which participants believe their sport involvement should enhance the probability of obtaining a high status occupation. Although gender ([beta] = .206, p < .05), ego involvement ([beta] = .136, p < .05), and hypercompetitiveness ([beta] = .117, p < .05) demonstrated theoretically consistent relationships with career status, neither the main effects nor the total model reached significance for this sport purpose variable (total adj. [R.sup.2] = .104, p >.05).
Table 3

Hierarchical Regression Analyses Predicting Purposes of Sport with
Demographic Factors, Motivational Goals, and Competitive Dispositions

Criterion/predictors [BETA] [DELTA] F [DELTA] Sig

Mastery/Cooperation

Step 1:Social .002
 Desirability
 Gender .320 (**)
 Age .262 (*)
 Sport .051 6.19 .003
Step 2:Task .350 (***)
 Involvement
 Ego -.013 4.89 .009
 Involvement
Step 3:Hyper- -.185 (**)
 competitiveness
 P-D .122 (*) 2.58 .048
 Competitiveness

Competitiveness

Step 1:Social -.015
 Desirability
 Gender .185 (***)
 Age -.088
 Sport .162 7.82 .004
Step 2:Task .101
 Involvement
 Ego .446 (***) 9.13 .001
 Involvement
Step 3:Hyper- .381 (***)
 Competitiveness
 P-D .135 (*) 5.82 .006
 Competitiveness

Good Citizenship

Step 1:Social .102
 Desirability
 Gender .361 (**)
 Age .218 (*)
 Sport .089 5.73 .001
Step 2:Task .612 (***)
 Involvement
 Ego -.078 2.23 .048
 Involvement
3:Hyper- -.053
 competitiveness
 P-D .237 (*) 1.85 .065
 Competitiveness

Social Status

Step 1:Social -.068
 Desirability
 Gender .214 (*)
 Age .096
 Sport .044 1.05 .110
Step 2:Task .123
 Involvement
 Ego .338 (**) 4.62 .006
 Involvement
Step 3:Hyper- .227 (**)
 Competitiveness
 P-D .062 7.33 .001
 Competitiveness

Self-esteem

Step 1:Social .189 (**)
 Desirability
 Gender .062
 Age .119 (*)
 Sport .068 1.88 .048
Step 2:Task .327 (**)
 Involvement
 Ego .013 3.12 .001
 Involvement
Step 3:Hyper- .101 (*)
 competitiveness
 P-D .381 (**) 4.03 .009
 Competitiveness

Active Lifestyle

Step 1:Social .091
 Desirability
 Gender .125
 Age .225 (*)
 Sport .062 1.18 .160
Step 2: Task .203 (**)
 Involvement
 Ego .118 2.95 .035
 Involvement
Step 3: Hyper- .009
 competitiveness
 P-D .115 .009 .230
 Competitiveness

Career Status

Step 1: Social -.106
 Desirability
 Gender .206 (*)
 Age -.070
 Sport .055 2.11 .048
Step 2: Task .010
 Involvement
 Ego .136 (*) 1.77 .056
 Involvement
Step 3: Hyper- .117 (*)
 competitiveness
 P-D .060 .08 .117
 Competitiveness

Criterion/predictors [R.sup.2] [DELTA] [R.sup.2]

Mastery/Cooperation

Step 1:Social
 Desirability
 Gender
 Age
 Sport .258 .258
Step 2:Task
 Involvement
 Ego .420 .162
 Involvement
Step 3:Hyper-
 competitiveness
 P-D .527 .107
 Competitiveness

Competitiveness

Step 1:Social
 Desirability
 Gender
 Age
 Sport .167 .167
Step 2:Task
 Involvement
 Ego .362 .195
 Involvement
Step 3:Hyper-
 Competitiveness
 P-D .585 .223
 Competitiveness

Good Citizenship

Step 1:Social
 Desirability
 Gender
 Age
 Sport .156 .156
Step 2:Task
 Involvement
 Ego .280 .124
 Involvement
3:Hyper-
 competitiveness
 P-D .322 .042
 Competitiveness

Social Status

Step 1:Social
 Desirability
 Gender
 Age
 Sport .049 .049
Step 2:Task
 Involvement
 Ego .226 .138
 Involvement
Step 3:Hyper-
 Competitiveness
 P-D .418 .192
 Competitiveness

Self-esteem

Step 1:Social
 Desirability
 Gender
 Age
 Sport .115 .115
Step 2:Task
 Involvement
 Ego .248 .172
 Involvement
Step 3:Hyper-
 competitiveness
 P-D .322 .101
 Competitiveness

Active Lifestyle

Step 1:Social
 Desirability
 Gender
 Age
 Sport .046 .046
Step 2: Task
 Involvement
 Ego .071 .053
 Involvement
Step 3: Hyper-
 competitiveness
 P-D .120 .027
 Competitiveness

Career Status

Step 1: Social
 Desirability
 Gender
 Age
 Sport .042 .042
Step 2: Task
 Involvement
 Ego .093 .051
 Involvement

Step 3: Hyper-
 competitiveness
 P-D .137 .044
 Competitiveness

Criterion/predictors Adj. [DELTA] [R.sup.2] Adj. [DELTA] [R.sup.2]

Mastery/Cooperation

Step 1:Social
 Desirability
 Gender
 Age
 Sport .234 .234
Step 2:Task
 Involvement
 Ego .370 .136
 Involvement
Step 3:Hyper-
 competitiveness
 P-D .455 .085
 Competitiveness

Competitiveness

Step 1:Social
 Desirability
 Gender
 Age
 Sport .143 .143
Step 2:Task
 Involvement
 Ego .300 .157
 Involvement
Step 3:Hyper-
 Competitiveness
 P-D .422 .122
 Competitiveness

Good Citizenship

Step 1:Social
 Desirability
 Gender
 Age
 Sport .138 .138
Step 2:Task
 Involvement
 Ego .239 .101
 Involvement
3:Hyper-
 competitiveness
 P-D .263 .024
 Competitiveness

Social Status

Step 1:Social
 Desirability
 Gender
 Age
 Sport .028 .028
Step 2:Task
 Involvement
 Ego .134 .106
 Involvement
Step 3:Hyper-
 Competitiveness
 P-D .321 .187
 Competitiveness

Self-esteem

Step 1:Social
 Desirability
 Gender
 Age
 Sport .084 .084
Step 2:Task
 Involvement
 Ego .230 .146
 Involvement
Step 3:Hyper-
 competitiveness
 P-D .304 .074
 Competitiveness

Active Lifestyle

Step 1:Social
 Desirability
 Gender
 Age
 Sport .018 .018
Step 2: Task
 Involvement
 Ego .090 .072
 Involvement
Step 3: Hyper-
 competitiveness
 P-D .065 .017
 Competitiveness

Career Status

Step 1: Social
 Desirability
 Gender
 Age
 Sport .036 .036
Step 2: Task
 Involvement
 Ego .076 .040
 Involvement
Step 3: Hyper-
 competitiveness
 P-D .104 .028
 Competitiveness

Criterion/predictors Sig.

Mastery/Cooperation

Step 1:Social
 Desirability
 Gender
 Age
 Sport
Step 2:Task
 Involvement
 Ego
 Involvement
Step 3:Hyper-
 competitiveness
 P-D .000
 Competitiveness

Competitiveness

Step 1:Social
 Desirability
 Gender
 Age
 Sport
Step 2:Task
 Involvement
 Ego
 Involvement
Step 3:Hyper-
 Competitiveness
 P-D .000
 Competitiveness

Good Citizenship

Step 1:Social
 Desirability
 Gender
 Age
 Sport
Step 2:Task
 Involvement
 Ego
 Involvement
3:Hyper-
 competitiveness
 P-D .001
 Competitiveness

Social Status

Step 1:Social
 Desirability
 Gender
 Age
 Sport
Step 2:Task
 Involvement
 Ego
 Involvement
Step 3:Hyper-
 Competitiveness
 P-D .000
 Competitiveness

Self-esteem

Step 1:Social
 Desirability
 Gender
 Age
 Sport
Step 2:Task
 Involvement
 Ego
 Involvement
Step 3:Hyper-
 competitiveness
 P-D .005
 Competitiveness

Active Lifestyle

Step 1:Social
 Desirability
 Gender
 Age
 Sport
Step 2: Task
 Involvement
 Ego
 Involvement
Step 3: Hyper-
 competitiveness
 P-D .085
 Competitiveness

Career Status

Step 1: Social
 Desirability
 Gender
 Age
 Sport
Step 2: Task
 Involvement
 Ego
 Involvement
Step 3: Hyper-
 competitiveness
 P-D .049
 Competitiveness

Note. [beta] = standardized regression coefficients for variables
in final model. Adj. (adjusted)

[R.sup.2] = cumulative amount of variance explained a after entry of
variables in step were adjusted for the number of predictors.

[DELTA] adj. R = change in variance accounted for after entry of
variables in step.

[DELTA] F = F ratio for [DELTA] R due to entry of variables in step.

[DELTA] sig. = significance level for F ratio test.

Sig. = significance level of global test for the total model.

(*)p < .05.

(**)p < .01.

(***)p < .001.


Discussion

The purpose of this study was to examine the role of competitive dispositions on the expected personal outcomes of sport involvement reported by recreational sport participants. The sport purposes of learning competitive skills, gaining social status, and obtaining a higher status career were expected to be predicted by hypercompetitiveness, whereas personal development competitiveness was hypothesized to predict the sport purposes of achieving task mastery and interpersonal cooperation, demonstrating good citizenship, enhancing self-esteem, and promoting an active lifestyle. The present results provide general support for the hypothesized relationships between competitive dispositions and perceived purposes of sport. In fact, hypercompetitive and personal development competitive participants appear to differ in the types of personal benefits they expect to derive from their sport experience. Hypercompetitive participants perceive recreational sport as a means to learn how to compete, enhance their social sta tus, and bolster their self-esteem, but not a context to promote task mastery or interpersonal cooperation. Although personal development competitors also acknowledge the sport purpose of developing competitive skills, they tend to emphasize the importance of interpersonal cooperation and self-esteem as personal outcomes of sport involvement.

Sampson's (1988, 1989) conceptualization of self-contained and ensembled individualism offers a compelling theoretical foundation to explain the observed differences in the particular sport purposes endorsed by hypercompetitive and personal development competitive individuals. At their root, both competitive dispositions describe how individuals define themselves through their interaction with others in the socially evaluative setting. Personal development competitors demonstrate their ensembled individualism by defining themselves within the achievement context through their commonality and shared relations with others. In contrast, the self-contained individualism of hypercompetitive individuals predisposes them to view others within the achievement context as a threat as well as satisfy their self-interests through the personal denigration of others.

In the present sample, hypercompetitive participants expected a variety of self-contained benefits from their sport participation such as improved competitiveness (i.e., learn what is necessary to be the best, learn how to compete against others, improve skills in order to be the best), enhanced social status (i.e., increase popularity among friends, learn how to be better than most people, have chance to be famous), and greater self-esteem (i.e., feel like a champion, set high standards for work, persist under adversity). In addition, hypercompetitive participants placed significantly less emphasis on the mastery/cooperation purpose of sport (i.e., work cooperatively with others, learn teamwork, follow rules, and demonstrate sportspersonship). The perceived purposes of sport predicted by personal development competitiveness are closely aligned with the values promoted by ensembled individualism. In addition to mastery/cooperation and self-esteem, greater personal development competitiveness also contributed modestly to the prediction of good citizenship (e.g., learn loyalty and respect for others, increase personal responsibility, be prepared to help others). These results provide preliminary evidence that a) both hypercompetitiveness and personal development competitiveness may represent more than varying levels of sport motivation, b) these competitive dispositions are significant predictors of particular sport expectations, and c) competitive dispositions and perceived sport purposes are related in a manner consistent with the values of self-contained and ensembled individualism.

White (1995) found that the purpose of improving one's physical fitness is significantly more important to recreational sport participants than to higher level competitors such as intercollegiate athletes. Contrary to predictions, the competitive dispositions of participants had little bearing on the degree to which they engaged in sport to promote an active lifestyle for themselves (i.e., learn how to exercise, maintain fitness levels, adopt regular physical activity). This inconsistent finding may be due to the fact that the PSQ physically active lifestyle items do not reflect an interpersonal point of reference. For example, it is plausible that individuals with either competitive disposition may value the physical fitness purpose of sport, the hypercompetitive athlete in order to gain an additional personal advantage over opponents, and the personal development competitor in order to make a greater contribution to the team effort. Although in the expected direction, hypercompetitiveness failed to signific antly predict the sport purpose of obtaining a higher status career (i.e., provide skills to obtain top jobs, help reach the top in present job, provide opportunity for well-paying jobs). This result may be attributed to the fact that although the items on the career status subscale infer an improvement in one's job-related status, it is not clear from these items whether improved job status infers a self-contained or ensembled perspective. Bing (1999) notes that although hypercompetitiveness is dispositional in nature, individuals may manifest a greater hypercompetitive orientation within a specific context. It is possible that the present sample of hypercompetitive sport participants are not as hypercompetitive in their respective occupational settings, and thus would not likely endorse this sport purpose.

Numerous studies have revealed that personal development is placed at risk among individuals who are intensely competitive (Johnson & Johnson, 1989; Johnson et al., 1981; Kohn, 1986; Mesc, Johnson, & Johnson, 1988). For example, evidence suggests that hypercompetitive college students demonstrate higher levels of neuroticism, interpersonal mistrust, hypermasculinity, and lower levels of self-esteem, whereas high levels of personal development competitiveness are positively related to self-esteem, social competence, affiliation needs, and various indices of psychological health (Ryckman et al., 1990; Ryckman et al., 1994). Contemporary theorists consider hypercompetitiveness a maladaptive personality trait, pervasive enough in current society to be a substantial mental health issue, and readily developed and maintained within a variety of contemporary life settings including work, play, and interpersonal relationships (Burckle et al., 1999; Ryckman et al., 1997; Schwartz, 1992). Both hypercompetitive and perso nal development competitive dispositions appear to influence why recreational athletes participate in their sport. Accordingly, future work should investigate the psychological and behavioral consequences of endorsing a particular competitive orientation within the sport setting, including short- and long-term performance, team dynamics, sport attrition, moral development, stress management, and affective responses.

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Author:Ryska, Todd A.
Publication:Journal of Sport Behavior
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Date:Mar 1, 2002
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