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The relationship between perceived leadership behaviors and team cohesion in high school and junior college baseball and softball teams was researched. Study participants, 307 athletes representing 23 teams, responded to the perceived version of the Leadership Scale for Sports (LSS) and the Group Environment Questionnaire (GEQ). Correlational and multivariate analyses indicated significant relationships between perceived leader behaviors and team cohesion. Specifically, coaches who were perceived as high in training and instruction, democratic behavior, social support, and positive feedback, and low in autocratic behavior, had teams that were more cohesive. A MANOVA indicated there were significant differences between genders and athletes at the two school levels in their perceptions of coaching behaviors and team cohesion, though these demographic variables did not significantly moderate the leadership-cohesion relationship.
Douglas E. Gardner is with the School of Education at Boston University, Boston, MA 02215. David L. Light Shields is with the Graduate School of Professional Psychology at John F. Kennedy University, Orinda, CA 94563. Brenda Jo Light Bredemeier is with the Department of Human Biodynamics at the University of California at Berkeley, CA 94720. Alan Bostrom is with the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies at the University of California-San Francisco, CA 94143.