Whitehead, J. R. (2006). Effects of scholarship status and coaching climate on the motivation of DII football players. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 38(5), Supplement abstract 1542.

This study investigated the effects of financial support and autonomy- versus control-promoting coaching styles on the motivation of Division II football players (N = 135). Ss supplied demographic data and details of any athletic scholarship support. They also completed the Sport Motivation Scale, the Sport Climate Questionnaire, and three items specifically written to tap their perceptions of competence, pressure/tension, and personal control/choice consequent to receiving (or not) financial support.

Scholarship status did not affect intrinsic motivation, a Relative Autonomy Index of their intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation, or their perceptions of competence, control, or pressure consequent to scholarship support. Scholarship non-recipients were slightly higher on amotivation. As a direct test of Cognitive Evaluation Theory, path analyses were conducted to ascertain if any changes in motivation were a direct effect of scholarship status, or if they were mediated by changes in perceptions of competence, control/choice, or pressure/tension. Those analyses were conducted separately with Relative Autonomy Index, intrinsic motivation, and amotivation as the dependent variables. The mediated path was significant in only two of the nine analyses (via control/choice to intrinsic motivation, and via control/choice to amotivation). Overall, the results did not substantively support Cognitive Evaluation Theory. Finally, to test the effects of coaching climate while controlling for any effects of scholarship status, three separate hierarchical regression analyses were conducted with Relative Autonomy Index, intrinsic motivation, and amotivation as the dependent variables respectively. In each analysis, scholarship status was entered first, followed by coaching climate so that its unique predictive contribution was assessed. In the first analysis, scholarship status was a significant, but very weak predictor of Relative Autonomy Index, and coaching climate significantly added a very minor (5.7%) of variance explained. In the second and third analyses respectively, scholarship status did not make a significant contribution, but significant small contributions were made by coaching climate to intrinsic motivation and to amotivation.

Implication. There was no substantive effect of scholarship status on motivation in Division II football players. Coaching climate was related weakly to intrinsic motivation and amotivation. When coaches were perceived as autonomy-supportive (as opposed to controlling) in style, players were more intrinsically motivated, and less amotivated about football.

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