Motivation in Climbing

© Mirna Mandić1 & Anne Tjønndal2
1 Norwegian University of Science and Technology, NTNU, Trondheim
2 University of Nordland, UiN, Bodø


The following study is an examination of motivation among members of The Norwegian Climbing Federation (NKF). The study investigates what forms of motivation are prevalent among Norwegian climbers, and furthermore, how individual factors affect their motivation for sports participation. The study is based on a quantitative online survey administered electronically to members of the NKF.

The article utilizes self-determination theory (SDT) as an analytical framework for studying motivation in sport. Although self-determination theory is a popular theoretical and empirical framework, and has been applied to many studies of motivation in sports, there are few SDT studies of motivation in lifestyle sports. The aim of this paper is to generate new insights on the topic of motivation in lifestyle sports such as climbing. More specifically, the article investigates intrinsic and extrinsic motivation among Norwegian climbers. The following research questions guided the study: (1) What forms of motivation are dominant among Norwegian climbers? and (2) How does individual factors effect the climbers’ motivation?

A sample of 931 Norwegian climbers, all members of the NKF, answered the online survey. To analyze the data, three linear regression models were developed. Central findings in the study indicate that intrinsic motivation is most prevalent among the climbers. The analysis reveals that there are no gender differences when it comes to motivation among Norwegian climbers. Furthermore, younger climbers have a higher degree of extrinsic motivation when compared to older athletes.


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MIRNA MANDIĆ is a student at The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim. She recently graduated with a bachelor degree in sport science. Her research interests include lifestyle sports and motivation.

ANNE TJØNNDAL is a PhD Research Fellow at the Faculty of Social Science at the University of Nordland (UiN), Bodø, Norway. The subject of her PhD thesis is innovation and social inclusion in sport. In 2014 Anne graduated from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) with a master’s degree (MSc.) in Sport Science.

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