Motivation and Dropout in Female Handballers: A 21-month Prospective Study


  • Sarrazin Philippe
  • Vallerand Robert
  • Guillet Emma
  • Pelletier Luc
  • Cury François


  • Dropout
  • Sport
  • Motivation
  • Self-determination
  • Female athlete
  • Hierarchical model

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The purpose of this study was to test a motivational model of sport dropout that integrates the 4 stage-causal sequence proposed by the Hierarchical Model of Vallerand (1997) and elements from achievement goal theory (Nicholls, 1989). The model posits that a task involving motivational climate facilitates, while an ego-involving climate undermines, perceptions of competence, autonomy, and relatedness. In turn, feeling incompetent, non autonomous, and unrelated to others undermines self-determined motivation toward handball which leads to the intention of dropping out of handball. Finally, such intentions are implemented later on. Three-hundred and thirty-five females handballers completed a motivation questionnaire and were followed for 21-months. Results from structural equation modeling analyses provided basic support for the model. Findings are discussed in light of their theoretical and applied implications.

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