Developmental Experiences and Well-Being in Sport: The Importance of the Coaching Climate

in The Sport Psychologist

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Lorcan D. CroninUniversity of Stirling

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Justine B. AllenUniversity of Stirling

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The present study explored the relationships between the coaching climate, youth developmental experiences (personal and social skills, cognitive skills, goal setting, and initiative) and psychological well-being (self-esteem, positive affect, and satisfaction with life). In total, 202 youth sport participants (Mage = 13.4, SD = 1.8) completed a survey assessing the main study variables. Findings were consistent with Benson and Saito’s (2001) framework for youth development. In all analyses, the coaching climate was related to personal and social skills, cognitive skills, goal setting, and initiative. Mediational analysis also revealed that the development of personal and social skills mediated the relationships between the coaching climate and all three indices of psychological well-being (self-esteem, positive affect, and satisfaction with life). Interpretation of the results suggests that coaches should display autonomy-supportive coaching behaviors because they are related to the developmental experiences and psychological well-being of youth sport participants.

Cronin was with the School of Sport, University of Stirling, Stirling, UK, at the time of this research and is now with the School of Engineering, Sports and Sciences, University of Bolton, Bolton, UK. Allen is with the School of Sport, University of Stirling, Stirling, UK.

Address author correspondence to Lorcan D. Cronin at l.cronin@bolton.ac.uk.
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