Cristin-resultat-ID: 1772019
Sist endret: 14. januar 2020 09:52

Thriving, striving, or just surviving?: A study of motivational processes among elite junior performers from sports and performing arts

  • Heidi Marian Haraldsen



Norges Idrettshøgskole

Om resultatet

Publiseringsår: 2019
Antall sider: 309
ISBN: 978-82-502-0574-1


Fagfelt (NPI)

Fagfelt: Pedagogikk og utdanning
- Fagområde: Samfunnsvitenskap

Beskrivelse Beskrivelse


Thriving, striving, or just surviving?: A study of motivational processes among elite junior performers from sports and performing arts


Background: Reaching the top in sports and performing arts can be striving. For some elite junior performers, though, the perceived requests and stressors seem to be overwhelming, resulting in dropout, unfulfilled potential, and psychological ill-being. This distinct “dark side” of talent development is an understudied phenomenon. Guided by Self-Determination Theory (SDT; Ryan & Deci, 2017) the present doctoral thesis set out to examine the interplay between personal motivational mentality (who) and contextual conditions (where) in relation to malfunctioning and various debilitative motivational outcomes. Research Design: An overall sequential multiphase mixed-methods research design comprised a retrospective exploratory interview study (Paper I), a descriptive cross sectional study (Paper II), a longitudinal cohort studies (Paper III), a prospective cohort study (Paper IV), and an explanatory interview study (Paper V). Methods: The targeted population was purposefully selected Norwegian elite junior performers from sports and performing arts. In the qualitative studies, successful established elite performers (N = 9, Paper I) and current elite junior performers facing adversity (N = 8, Paper V) were interviewed based on semi-structured interviews. Data were analyzed with a combination of thematic and narrative analysis. The quantitative studies recruited current elite junior performers from sports and the arts (N = 171, Paper II; N = 259, Paper III; N = 219, Paper IV) that filled out standardized questionnaires. Data were analyzed via structural equation modeling (SEM), and we performed conditional process modeling (Paper II), growth mixture modeling (Paper III), and latent profile analysis (Paper IV). Results and Discussion: Findings (1) indicated that Norwegian talent development environments (TDEs) played an important role in elite junior performers’ maladaptive motivational processes (Papers I, II, and V). Even though they provided both autonomy supportive and controlling conditions, controlling conditions were common across the domains and were mainly of an indirect nature based on conditional regards (Papers I and V). Competence turned out to be the core currency in the TDEs, affecting social status and future outlooks for the elite junior performers (Papers I and V). Findings (2) showed that elite junior performers’ motivational mentality (i.e., externally driven forms of perfectionistic concerns and inauthenticity) are vulnerability dispositions increasing the risk of experiencing maladaptive motivational processes and debilitative motivational outcomes (Papers I–V). Moreover, basic needs frustration, seemed to play a key role as an explaining mechanism in these maladaptive motivational processes (Papers II and III). Findings (3) showed that the maladaptive motivational processes were an emergent in situ process of joints effects, where the sum and (mis)match of diverse personal, contextual, and situational motivational factors was like a balancing scale, influencing the elite junior performers’ overall experiences of striving, surviving, and thriving (Papers I and V). When negotiating the maladaptive motivational processes, the role of self-determined functioning played a key role in relation to elite junior performers’ coping, learning, and developing from adversity (Papers I and V). Conversely, the lack of autonomous functioning nurtured debilitative motivational outcomes of ill-being and decreased perceived performance development (Papers I–V). Conclusion: The overall findings highlight the complexity of becoming an elite junior performer. The SDT-based maladaptive motivational processes seemed to increase the elite junior performers’ likelihood of experiencing malfunctioning, psychological ill-being, and performance setbacks. TDEs should be encouraged to facilitate autonomous functioning, and thus, better safeguard elite junior performers in developing their fully potential.


Heidi Marian Haraldsen

  • Tilknyttet:
    ved Norges idrettshøgskole
  • Tilknyttet:
    ved Avdeling Dans ved Kunsthøgskolen i Oslo
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