Factors Influencing the Competitive Performance Expectancies of Young Female Athletes

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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  • 1 University of California, Los Angeles
  • 2 University of Washington
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Identification of factors influencing expectancies of successful performance in competitive youth sports is important to understanding the way in which children perceive and respond to this evaluative achievement situation. Therefore, in this field study involving 10- to 12-year-old female soccer players, intrapersonal factors affecting players' pregame personal performance expectancies were first identified. Soccer ability and self-esteem were found to be related to personal performance expectancies, but competitive trait anxiety was not Second, the impact of game outcome, the previously mentioned intrapersonal variables, and the interaction of game outcome and intrapersonal variables was examined by determining players' postgame team expectancies in a hypothetical rematch with the same opponent. The postgame findings showed that winning players evidenced higher team expectancies than tying and losing players. Moreover, the expectancies of tying players were low and, in fact, similar to those of losers. The results of this study successfully replicated and extended previous findings with young male athletes.

This research was supported by two grants to T. K. Scanlan including the Biomedical Research Support Grant USPHS 5 S05-RR-7009 and Grant 3188 from the University of California, Los Angeles. The authors gratefully acknowledge the cooperation received from the American Youth Soccer Organization and its participants. Thanks are also extended to Rebecca Lewthwaite for her helpful comments on an earlier draft of this manuscript. Reprint requests should be sent to Tara K. Scanlan, Department of Kinesiology, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90024.

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