Toward a Multidimensional Model of Athletes’ Commitment to Coach-Athlete Relationships and Interdependent Sport Teams: A Substantive-Methodological Synergy

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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Drawing from a three-factor model of organizational commitment, we sought to provide validity evidence for a multidimensional conceptualization designed to capture adolescent athletes’ commitment to their coach–athlete relationship or their team. In Study 1, 335 individual-sport athletes (Mage = 17.32, SD = 1.38) completed instruments assessing affective, normative, and continuance commitment to their relationship with their coach, and in Study 2, contextually modified instruments were administered to assess interdependent-sport athletes’ (N = 286, Mage = 16.31, SD = 1.33) commitment to their team. Bayesian structural equation modeling revealed support for a three-factor (in comparison with a single-factor) model, along with relations between commitment dimensions and relevant correlates (e.g., satisfaction, return intentions, cohesion) that were largely consistent with theory. Guided by recent advancements in Bayesian modeling, these studies provide a new commitment instrument with the potential for use and refinement in team- and relationship-based settings and offer preliminary support for a conceptual framework that may help advance our understanding of the factors underpinning individuals’ engagement in sport.

Ben Jackson and James A. Dimmock are with the School of Sport Science, Exercise and Health, University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA, Australia. Daniel F. Gucciardi is with the School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science, Curtin University, Perth, WA, Australia.