Motivational factors related to female participation in collegiate sports


  • Laura Abril Pacheco University of Texas at El Paso, United States
  • Francisco Soto Mas University of New Mexico, United States
  • Arturo Olivarez University of Texas at El Paso, United States
  • Magdalena Avila University of New Mexico, United States



Motivation, Sport participation, College females, Athletes


Despite the many health benefits, physical activity trends in females have been consistently reported to be lower than that of males. Other demographic variables may also be related to sport participation. The purpose of this study was to explore the factors that motivate college females to participate in sports. This was a cross sectional, causal-comparative survey study. Eight motivational factors were explored: fitness, skill/mastery, enjoyment, affiliation/recognition, team factors, ego/competition, parental support, and external rewards. Female college athletes (N=82) from two post-secondary institutions were surveyed using the 35-item Modified Sports Motivation Survey. Results indicated that all factors were important to participants with significant differences found according to eligibility in the motivational factor of fitness. This study represents one of the most comprehensive to date looking into the multifaceted and complex interactions of motivational factors that influence female collegiate sports participation in the United States, yet future research is needed to better understand the adherence to physical activity into adulthood.




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How to Cite

Pacheco, L. A., Soto Mas, F., Olivarez, A., & Avila, M. (2012). Motivational factors related to female participation in collegiate sports. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 7(4), 783–793.



Physical Education / Children & Exercise