Motivation and Its Regulation: The Control Within
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Although some associations were barely non-credible, the parameter estimates suggest an important contribution and should not be objectively considered credible or non-credible Gelman, Additionally, these analyses did not account for the psychological constructs' dynamic nature, and focused mediation models were performed to examine the change processes involved throughout athletes' competitive season Gelman, ; Jose, In the focused mediation models, athletes' initial self-control and exhaustion best predicted subsequent levels of self-control and exhaustion, respectively Adachi and Willoughby, Thus, the autoregressive effects confirmed stability of individual differences in the psychological constructs over time Preacher, ; Stenling et al.
Controlling for these stability effects, the focused mediation models showed inter-individual differences in change on the outcome over time, and reflected whether motivation truly predicted change in levels of exhaustion over the week competition period of data collection Adachi and Willoughby, Additionally, the strength of autoregressive effects revealed that trait measures of self-control were more stable compared to state measures of exhaustion. These results reflect the relative stability of trait measures across situations and over time Anusic and Schimmack, , and a requirement to assess the role of time in experiences of exhaustion and the development of burnout de Ridder et al.
As athlete burnout is considered enduring, these results confirm that significant time is needed to note changes e. Due to the inclusion of autoregressive paths, effect sizes in the focused mediation models were dramatically smaller compared to effect sizes in the simple mediation models Adachi and Willoughby, None of the direct or the indirect effects were credible in the focused mediation model, except the direct effect between amotivation T1 and exhaustion T3. Amotivated athletes likely lack a sense of control and efficacy, and presumably experience negative consequences such as exhaustion Deci and Ryan, However, the direction of estimates in both models reflected trends in the same direction, and were in line with the hypothesized association between motivation, self-control, and exhaustion.
This suggests that athletes' autonomous motivation positively serves their self-control competencies, as they are less prone to experience depletion and exhaustion Muraven, ; Hagger et al. Contrary, athletes' controlled types of motivation positively associated with experienced exhaustion via self-control, strengthening a motivational explanation of ego depletion. That is, within the dynamics of psychological constructs and a complex world, not only previous acts of self-control lead to depletion and impaired self-control performance Fiedler, ; Friese et al.
Current study findings thus emphasize that the motivational accounts of ego depletion work in opposite causal directions. Controlled types of motivation seem to evoke processes leading to depletion, whereas self-control performance seems to be triggered by autonomous types of motivation. However, the debate whether ego-depletion exists or not is beyond the scope of this paper for elaborations, e.
As confirmed in other longitudinal studies e. Therefore, the predictive value of motivation and self-control explaining athletes' exhaustion over a week period was confirmed. The current study sheds light on associations between motivation and exhaustion via self-control in two mediation models. However, possible limitations concerning questionnaires, design, and type of analyses should be addressed. For example, the content validity of the sport motivation scale has been criticized Langan et al. There is also an ongoing debate concerning the factor structure and the proposed unidimensionality of the BSCS Tangney et al.
In the current analyses, the scale's original unidimensional composition was used. Though, two items were deleted due to low factor loadings Kline, , and we do question the psychometric properties of the scale. Self-control reverse scored items as well as social desirability may further cause method bias Podsakoff et al. Social desirability has often been ignored in studies using self-report measures, even though it causes major threats to the validity of data, secondly influencing associations between variables Grossbard et al.
It is possible that young athletes respond to questionnaires influenced by social desirability, as they want to present a positive image and appear consistent with their perceived values of for example youth sport programs. The fact that athlete respondents may answer questionnaires to gain social approval or deny negative attributes, for example by their coach or the researcher, may thus contribute to biased results. Further, the investigated effects in the mediation analyses will vary as a function of time and time lag between assessments Cole and Maxwell, ; Preacher, ; Anusic and Schimmack, , and the week time frame with three time point measurements may not accurately reflect longitudinal associations in these constructs.
Finally, current study analyses examined a specific ordering of variables in simple and focused mediation effects, and did not explore variables' temporal precedence and all possible mediations i. Taking these limitations into account findings could have been more persuasive, emphasizing important information in theoretical, and applied research.
This study aimed to investigate how motivation and self-control together caused athletes' exhaustion, and future research should consider alternative measures that highlight different aspects of these concepts. For example, do athletes' self-control competencies and self-efficacy concerning goal achievement in sport associate with self-control resource depletion, secondly affecting performance, as suggested by Hagger et al.
In addition, due to the positive effects of autonomous motivation and self-control competencies, future research should explore how to improve these beneficial psychological characteristics through interventions. Is it possible that self-control resembles a muscle, which will be strengthened by repeated exercise Baumeister et al. Does athletes' self-control increase by providing an autonomy-supportive climate that enhances autonomous motivation e.
Is it possible to increase athletes' self-control strength through interventions where athletes and researchers discuss and work through important self-control processes, such as behavioral and emotional responses, self-management, enhanced focus, as well as thought and impulse control e. Further, self-report measures of trait self-control are distinctively different from specific self-control processes Allom et al. For example, the brief self-control scale is based on whether participants think they have self-control, and future research should attempt to monitor athletes' actual self-control throughout their everyday endeavors.
This would additionally eliminate the risk of social desirability method bias, which is necessary to enhance the validity of the data and subsequent interpretations Podsakoff et al. As such, sport psychology research should apply longitudinal designs and methods to explore these causal processes in athletes' everyday life Preacher, ; Stenling et al.
This study especially emphasized autoregressive effects, and longitudinal research should perhaps include three or more waves and consider various measurement intervals to reliably capture long-term reciprocal patterns Marsh and O'Mara, ; Stenling et al.
Additionally, there is a need to develop guidelines for the interpretation of longitudinal mediation models, as current guidelines used to interpret simple mediation models are misleading when controlling for constructs' stability Adachi and Willoughby, A full investigation of how these psychological constructs associate and predict change should be examined in a complete mediation model that grasps all possible mediations Jose, Finally, a careful investigation of the current study questionnaires in youth sport contexts is warranted to make sure they apply to and grasp athletes' experiences.
Investigating the causal paths between motivation and exhaustion via self-control competencies, current study findings were inconsistent in two different mediation models. Simple mediation models showed indirect effects within the intrinsic, integrated, identified, and external regulations and amotivation analyses. However, focused mediation models did not replicate these credible findings, but confirmed the longitudinal stability of self-control and exhaustion.
However, directions of effects were confirmed in both models. That is, autonomous and controlled motivation on exhaustion via self-control was, respectively, positive and negative, and direct effects from amotivation to exhaustion were positive and credible. These results suggest that high levels of self-control are advantageous when simultaneously driven by autonomous motivation, as athletes are less prone to experience exhaustion over an extensive competition period. Conversely, driven by more controlled motives, athletes high in self-control seem more prone to experience negative sport participation outcomes.
Thus, the interaction of motivation and self-control processes should be accurately monitored over time to recognize early symptoms of exhaustion. This study was carried out in accordance with the recommendations of the Norwegian Center for Research Data NSD , and national ethical standard procedures were followed for the protection of research participants with written informed consent from all subjects. All subjects gave written informed consent in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki.
All authors listed have made a substantial, direct and intellectual contribution to the work, and approved it for publication. The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest. We highly appreciate the cooperation of sport directors and coaches, and are thankful for athletes' contribution.
The current article is withdrawn from a doctoral thesis published online. The various priors did not substantially change mediation model results.
Adachi, P. Interpreting effect sizes when controlling for stability effects in longitudinal autoregressive models: implications for psychological science.
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Allom, V. Self-report and behavioural approaches to the measurement of self-control: are we assessing the same construct? C , — Anusic, I. Stability and change of personality traits, self-esteem, and well-being: introducing the meta-analytic stability and change model of retest correlations.
Asparouhov, T. Bayesian structural equation modeling with cross-loadings and residual covariances: comments on Stromeyer et al. Baumeister, R. Toward a general theory of motivation: problems, challenges, opportunities, and the big picture. Self-regulation, ego depletion, and motivation.
Motivation and Its Regulation | The Control Within | Taylor & Francis Group
Compass 1, — Psychol , Vol. Olson and M. Google Scholar. The strength model of self-control. Using mixed methods to interpret differential item functioning. Berkman, E. Self-control as value-based choice. Briki, W. Motivation toward physical exercise and subjective wellbeing: the mediating role of trait self-control. Brown, T.