Attraction- and Entrapment-Based Commitment among Competitive Female Gymnasts

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology

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Windee M. WeissUniversity of Virginia

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Maureen R. WeissUniversity of Virginia

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The purpose of this study was to examine correlates of attraction- and entrapment-based commitment among young competitive female gymnasts. Participants were 124 gymnasts (Levels 9, 10, and Elite) ranging in age from 10 to 18 years. Based on theory and research (Raedeke, 1997; Schmidt & Stein, 1991), commitment profiles were determined based on benefits, costs, enjoyment, personal investments, and attractive alternatives. Three profiles emerged when using cluster analysis. Attracted gymnasts were higher in enjoyment and benefits but lower in costs and attractive alternatives. Entrapped gymnasts were lower in enjoyment and benefits but higher in costs and attractive alternatives. Vulnerable gymnasts were moderately lower in enjoyment and benefits, average in costs, and moderately higher in attractive alternatives. These groups were significantly different on social support, social constraints, motivational orientation, and training behaviors. The three profiles were similar but not identical to Schmidt and Stein’s predicted types of commitment, with each type being further differentiated by social, motivational, and behavioral variables.

W.M. Weiss is a PhD student in the Kinesiology Program, and M.R. Weiss is a professor in Kinesiology at the University of Virginia, 210 Emmet St. South, Curry School of Education, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4407.

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