The purpose of this study was to examine whether team cohesion in women's intercollegiate field hockey was specifically a cause for or an effect of successful performance and to examine what the cause-effect relationship is between cohesion and satisfaction and satisfaction and performance. A secondary purpose was to compare results from a cross-lagged panel correlation analysis with partial correlations and path analysis of the data. The high and significant individual correlations from cohesion to performance and performance to cohesion, combined with the failure of the cross-lagged correlation to indicate any causal predominance, suggested a circular relationship between cohesion and performance. Examination of the satisfaction correlations suggested that satisfaction may be a mediating variable in the cohesion-performance circular relationship. Support for this model totally broke down when the results from the partial correlations and path analysis of the data were examined. The only causal flow, and this only in a few select circumstances, was from success to increased cohesiveness and greater satisfaction, and from increased cohesiveness to greater satisfaction.
We wish to thank Daniel M. Landers for his consultation regarding the use of path analyzing longitudinal data. We also wish to thank Brad D. Hatfield for computing the path analyses. Requests for reprints should be sent to Jean M. Williams, Department of Physical Education, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721.