The Dynamics of Group Cohesion in Sport

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Albert V. Carron University of Western Ontario

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P. Chelladurai University of Western Ontario

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This study attempted to identify the factors correlated with the athlete's perception of cohesiveness in individual and team sports. The five measures of cohesion used were factor analyzed and two factors were identified: individual-to-group-cohesion (composed of sense of belonging, value of membership, and enjoyment) and group-as-a-unit cohesion (composed of teamwork and closeness). These represented the dependent variables in the multiple regression design. Because cohesion is a group construct, the independent variables were chosen to reflect this aspect. They included measures of compatibility between the coach and athlete and the team and athlete as well as measures of the discrepancy in participation orientation between the coach and athlete and the team and athlete. The results supported a conclusion that cohesiveness in sport is a multidimensional construct. Further, the perception of cohesiveness is moderated by the nature of the sport task. Finally, the most important factors contributing to the perception of cohesiveness in sport teams are the discrepancies between the athlete and coach and between the athlete and team in task motivation.

Reprint requests should be sent to Albert V. Carron, Faculty of Physical Education, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, N6A 3K7, Canada.

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