Positive affect is linked to enhanced motivation, commitment, and performance among youth sport performers; yet, few psychological interventions have specifically attempted to enhance positive affect among these athletes. To address this circumstance, we implemented a single-subject multiple-baseline design to examine the effects of a goal-setting intervention on the positive and negative affective responses of three competitive youth athletes. Statistical analysis coupled with visual inspection criteria revealed a significant overall increase in positive affect for participants 1 and 2. A statistically significant increase in positive affect also emerged for participant 3, yet it was not possible to detect a significant experimental effect using visual inspection criteria. No statistically significant decreases in negative effect emerged for any of the three participants. These results show some support for the hypothesis that goal setting may enhance positive affect among junior multievent athletes.
Paul J. McCarthy is with the Division of Psychology, Faculty of Sciences, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK. Marc Jones and Laura Davenport are with Sport & Exercise, Faculty of Health at Saffordshire University in the UK. Chris G. Harwood is with the School of Sport, Exercise, and Health Sciences at Loughborough University, UK.