Approach-avoidance achievement goals are studied extensively in the context of competitive sports and physical activity, including leisure and physical education. Building upon past meta-analyses, the purpose of this quantitative review was to provide basic descriptive data, estimated means for testing of several research
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Approach-avoidance achievement goals are studied extensively in the context of competitive sports and physical activity, including leisure and physical education. Building upon past meta-analyses, the purpose of this quantitative review was to provide basic descriptive data, estimated means for testing of several research questions (i.e., context, gender, culture, and socioeconomic status), and meta-analyzing outcome correlates (i.e., self-determination constructs, affect, effort, and physical activity). A total of 116 studies up to 1 December 2018, met inclusion criteria. These 116 studies, totaling a sample size of 43,133 participants (M sample size = 347.85 + 359.36), from 22 countries with 92.7% of samples, are drawn from participants less than 30 years of mean age. From the 116 unique studies, nearly half (49.6%) were from a sport context and the rest from leisure-time physical activity (PA) (19.4%) and physical education (PE) (31.0%) contexts. A number of different analyses were conducted to examine our research questions. Support was found for several of our research questions: The mastery-approach goal was endorsed more than all the other goals, while sport participants endorsed the performance-approach goal more than PA and PE groups; females endorsed the mastery-avoidance goal more than males; more culturally individualistic countries endorsed the mastery-approach goal; and countries from lower socioeconomic and interdependent countries endorsed the mastery-avoidance goal than higher socioeconomic and independent countries. Concerning, the meta-analyzed correlates, most relationships were hypothesized through the performance-approach goal, and both avoidance goals appeared to be too similar in relationships with the correlates raising theoretical concerns. Overall, the mastery-approach goals had the most meaningful biased corrected effect size values (rc
) with the outcome correlates, such as relative autonomy (0.47), intrinsic motivation (0.52), effort (0.40), positive affect (0.42), physical activity intent (0.38). Based on the present and past meta-analytic results, the 2 × 2 achievement goals as currently measured was questioned. Future research suggestions included fundamental questionnaire issues, the need for latent profile analysis or other more advanced statistics, and whether the 2 × 2 achievement goal framework is the most appropriate framework in physical activity contexts.