Exercise Science (B.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Daniel Czech


Goal orientation is defined as the perceptual-cognitive frameworks that determine how an individual approaches, interprets, and responds to achievement situations (Janssen & Van Yperen, 2004). Goal orientation refers to the reasons an individual engages in an activity and the goals he or she sets to define success (D’Lima et al., 2014). Research has shown that there are gender differences when examining goal orientation. However, little research has been found that has examined this within the millennial generation. The purpose of this exploratory study is to examine the differences between male and female millennial college students on goal orientation. The design of this study was a quantitative, quasi-experimental, cross-sectional descriptive study. A 31-item researcher design questionnaire was administered to current university students (n=1724) to measure physical activity, course satisfaction, and sport orientation (Competitiveness, Win Orientation, and Goal Orientation.) Data was gathered from students at a midsized southeastern university who are enrolled in physical activity classes. The survey contained demographic questions as well as the Sport Orientation Questionnaire, both of which have been found to be psychometrically reliable and valid. In order to increase participation, students were verbally recruited by their instructors with a bonus grade incentive. T-tests were used to determine if significant differences in the demographic independent variables existed between groups, while Pearson’s correlation was used to examine relationships. Results revealed significantly higher goal orientation in females than males.