Grounded in Scanlan’s sport commitment model (SCM), the purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between feelings of teammate acceptance and sport commitment in a sample of adolescent female volleyball players (N = 209). Despite theoretical justification for including social forms of influence such as social support and social acceptance as direct sources of sport commitment, empirical evidence has not been supportive of this association. Therefore, direct and indirect relationships between teammate acceptance and sport commitment within the SCM were tested. Findings supported the indirect relationship between teammate acceptance and sport commitment through sport enjoyment, personal investments, social constraints, and investment opportunities, accounting for 48% of the variance in sport commitment. It appears that teammate acceptance may be better situated as a distal source of sport commitment, but further research with more diverse samples is necessary. Sports psychologists who can collectively help athletes, coaches, and parents develop responsive interpersonal skills while reducing corporal punishment and aggression tactics can facilitate greater levels of social acceptance.
Garn is with the School of Education, University of Newcastle.