Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Sport Sciences

First Advisor

Mark Van Ness

First Committee Member

Courtney D. Jensen

Second Committee Member

Richard Anema


The purpose of this study was to expand on goal orientation theory and its relationship with beliefs about the causes of sport success by differentiating by age group in youth USA Swimming registered swimmers, ages 11-18. 80 swimmers from six different USA Swimming clubs completed the Task and Ego Orientation in Sport Questionnaire (TEOSQ) and the Beliefs About the Causes of Sport Success Questionnaire (BACSSQ) after providing parent consent and child assent to take part in the study. Similar to previous research, the ego orientation was found to have a significant positive relationship with ability and deception as beliefs about the causes of sport success and the task orientation was found to have a significant positive relationship with higher effort as well as a significant negative relationship with deception as a belief about the cause of sport success. New findings included the 13-14 year old and 15-18 year old age groups having a significantly higher ego orientation than the 11-12 age group, the 15-18 age group having a significantly lower task orientation than both the 11-12 and 13-14 age groups, and the 13-14 age group believed deception caused success in swimming significantly more than the 11-12 age group. It is concluded that older swimmers could develop a higher ego orientation and lower task orientation as they age due to more visible differences in ability and an increased focus on performance.





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