Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

William Russell


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between perceived coaching behaviors, goal orientation, and motivation among female collegiate athletes. Female athletes from Eastern Illinois University (n = 66) and Valparaiso University (n = 25), took part in the study. Specifically, the purposes of the study were; a) to examine if athletes who perceived their coaches to exhibit more democratic behavior, praise and encouragement, and training and instruction behaviors would demonstrate higher levels of intrinsic motivation, and b) to examine if athletes with a positive goal profile (high task/high ego) would have significantly greater motivation levels compared to other goal profiles. Measures used for the study included the Sport Motivation Scale (SMS-28) (Pelletier et al., 1995), Leadership in Sport Scale, the Perceived Version (LSS) (Chelladurai & Saleh, 1980), and Task and Ego Sport Questionnaire (TEOSQ) (Duda & Nicholls, 1989). To test the first purpose of perceived leader behaviors and motivation, several multiple regression analyses and bivariate correlations were performed across each category of motivation to determine which coaching behaviors were predictive of each isolated dimension of motivation. Results revealed that IM To Know was significantly predicted by democratic behavior (t (90) = 1.69, p = .09); IM To Accomplish was significantly predicted by democratic behavior (t (90) = 2.19, p < .05), performance feedback (t (90) = 1.99, p < .05), and social support behavior (t (90) = -2.26, p < .05); and none of the behaviors predicted IM To Experience Stimulation at the p < .05 level. To test the second purpose of goal orientation and motivation, a one-way MANOVA was conducted with goal profile as the independent variable and SMS-28 scale scores as the dependent variables. Results showed a overall non-significant interaction (Wilk' s Lambda = .74, (F (21,233) = 1.22, p = ,23), showing that athletes' goal profile did not interact to affect all motivation categories. Results of the follow-up univariate ANOVAs showed a significant effect for IM To Know (F (3,90) = 2.77, p < .05). The follow-up Tukey Studentized Range Test indicated a significant value (F (87) = 3.70, p < .05) and indicated that high task/low ego athletes (5.28± .92) were significantly higher in IM To Know compared to low task/low ego (4.33 ± 1.23). Results suggest that there is a relationship between perceived leader behavior, goal orientation, and athletes' level of motivation. Recommendation for future studies include using a larger sample size, incorporating athletes' starting status, and assessment of actual coaches' behaviors.