Athlete Leadership as a Shared Process: Using a Social-Network Approach to Examine Athlete Leadership in Competitive Female Youth Soccer Teams

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The present study sought to address 2 limitations of previous athlete-leadership research: (a) Researchers have predominantly examined the shared nature of athlete leadership using aggregated approaches, which has limited our ability to examine differences in the degree of sharedness between teams, and (b) the limited availability of research related to dyadic predictors (i.e., qualities of the relation between 2 individuals) of athlete leadership. Therefore, social-network analysis was used to examine athlete leadership across multiple levels (i.e., individual, dyadic, and network) in 4 competitive female youth soccer teams (N = 68). Findings demonstrated differences in the degree to which athlete leadership was shared between the teams. Furthermore, multiple-regression quadratic-assignment procedures showed that skill nomination and formal leadership status were significant predictors of how often participants reported looking to their teammates for leadership.

Duguay and Loughead are with the Dept. of Kinesiology, University of Windsor, Windsor, ON, Canada. Cook is with the Dept. of Sociology, University of Maine at Augusta, Augusta, ME.

Duguay (duguay7@uwindsor.ca) is corresponding author.
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