Conceptions of Ability and Achievement Goals in Physical Education: Comparisons of American and Chinese Students. Academic Article uri icon


  • This study focused on comparisons of American and Chinese students in conceptions of ability and achievement goals in physical education. Three hundred eight American students and 371 Chinese students in 4th, 8th, and 11th grades completed questionnaires assessing their conceptions of ability and achievement goals. Results indicated that for both American and Chinese students, as they progressed through the grades they tended to develop a differentiated conception of ability and to become more ego-oriented. Achievement goals were related to conceptions of ability. Cultural differences were found in the two variables. The findings offer additional empirical support to the view that goal theory is relevant to physical education settings and that achievement-related cognitions vary as a function of children's age and cultural background. Copyright 2001 Academic Press.

published proceedings

  • Contemp Educ Psychol

author list (cited authors)

  • Xiang, P., Lee, A., & Shen, J.

citation count

  • 25

complete list of authors

  • Xiang, Ping||Lee, Amelia||Shen, Jianhua

publication date

  • January 2001