Influence of achievement goals and motivational climate on attitudes toward doping among East African university athletes
Mwangi, F. M.
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Doping cases among East African athletes have been reported in the past few years, jeopardizing their international reputation. Pro-doping behaviours in sports can be assessed using Achievement Goal Theory (AGT) which proposes that goal orientation and motivational climate influence attitudes and behaviours. This study examined the relationships among East African university athletes’ achievement goal orientations, perceived coach-created motivational climate and attitudes towards doping in sports. Using a cross-sectional survey design, data were collected from 327 student-athletes during the 2016 East African University Sport Championships. Athletes’ doping attitudes were assessed using a modified Performance Enhancement Attitude Scale (PEAS). The athletes’ perception of success or achievement goal orientation in sports was assessed through the Task and Ego Goal Orientation in Sport Questionnaire (TEGOSQ), while their perceptions of coach motivational climate were assessed using an adapted version of the Perceived Motivational Climate in Sport Questionnaire (PMCSQ). Based on responses to a five-point Likert scale, results yielded the following: doping attitude scale (Mean =2.14 ± 0.73), Ego orientation (Mean = 3.77 ± 0.86), Task orientation (Mean = 4.41 ± 0.87) and Performance motivation climate (Mean = 2.59 ± 0.89). About 71% (229) of the respondents were least likely to dope, while 29% (94) had high likelihood of engaging in future doping behavior. Binary logistical regression analysis showed that Performance motivation climate had the most significant unique contributions to attitudes towards doping (χ2 = 6.35; p = .012). Fostering performance motivation climate during coaching and deemphasising task orientation in sports could promote athletes’ inclination towards doping.