Cohesion is an important small group variable within sport. However, the conceptualization and examination of cohesion have predominately been oriented toward adult populations. The purpose of the current study was to garner an understanding of what cohesion means to youth sport participants. Fifty-six team sport athletes (Mage = 15.63 ± 1.01 years) from two secondary schools took part in focus groups designed to understand participants’ perceptions of (a) the definition of cohesion and indicators of cohesive and noncohesive groups and (b) methods used to attempt to develop cohesion in their groups. Overall, the responses to part (a) yielded 10 categories reflecting a group’s task cohesion and 7 categories reflecting a group’s social cohesion. Finally, participants highlighted eight general methods through which their groups developed cohesion. Results are discussed in relation to a current conceptualization of cohesion and affiliation considerations within a youth sport environment.
Mark A. Eys, Todd M. Loughead, Steven R. Bray, and Albert V. Carron
Jon Law, Rich Masters, Steven R. Bray, Frank Eves, and Isabella Bardswell
Butler and Baumeister (1998) suggested that performance decrement of a difficult skill-based task occurring only in the presence of a supportive audience could be explained by “a cautious performance style” (p. 1226). A potential alternative explanation stems from Masters’ (1992) contention that skill failure under pressure occurs when performers attempt to control motor performance using explicit knowledge. It was proposed that a skill acquired with minimal metaknowledge (i.e., a limited explicit knowledge base) would remain robust regardless of audience type. To test this hypothesis, a table tennis shot was learned with either a greater or a lesser bank of explicit task knowledge. Performance was subsequently assessed in the presence of observation-only audiences, supportive audiences, and adversarial audiences. Consistent with hypotheses, supportive audiences induced performance decrement in the explicit-learning group only. It was argued that supportive audiences engender higher levels of internally focused attention than do adversarial or observation-only audiences, increasing the chance of disruption to skill execution when performance characteristics involve a large amount of explicit processing.
Steven R. Bray, Nancy C. Gyurcsik, Kathleen A. Martin Ginis, and S. Nicole Culos-Reed
The purpose of this study was to develop a measure of proxy efficacy for use in group exercise contexts (e.g., aerobics classes) where participants engage in exercise under the direction of a group exercise leader (e.g., aerobics instructor). Three phases of research are reported. Phase 1 involved group exercisers as active agents in the generating of questionnaire items. In Phase 2, novice exercisers assisted in an item-trimming process and the questionnaire was further refined into a 17-item two-dimensional scale based on preliminary psychometric testing. In the third phase, proxy efficacy beliefs of novice female exercisers (N = 70, average age = 21.09 years, SD = 5.11) were experimentally manipulated through exposure to different exercise group leadership and choreography styles. Results provide preliminary support for the Proxy Efficacy Exercise Questionnaire (PEEQ) as a measure that can provide valid and reliable scores representing women’s proxy efficacy beliefs in group exercise settings. Implications for future research in terms of furthering the construct validation process and potential contributions to understanding exercise adherence among novice exercisers are discussed.
Paul D. Saville, Steven R. Bray, Kathleen A. Martin Ginis, John Cairney, Deborah Marinoff-Shupe, and Andrew Pettit
Interpersonal feedback from coaches may be instrumental in the formation of children’s self-efficacy to learn or perform sport skills. We report on two studies that explored perceived sources of self-efficacy and relation-inferred self-efficacy (RISE) in one-on-one interviews with sport camp participants (N = 61; ages 7–12) and focus groups with recreational league participants (N = 28; ages 8–12). Participants’ responses indicated that prior experiences and socially constructed interactions contributed to the development of self-efficacy and RISE beliefs. Results support Bandura’s (1997) theorizing that self-efficacy is developed through processing of experiential feedback as well as Lent and Lopez’s (2002) tripartite theory proposing interpersonal feedback from influential others contributes to children’s RISE and self-efficacy.
Marc V. Jones, Andrew M. Lane, Steven R. Bray, Mark Uphill, and James Catlin
The present paper outlines the development of a sport-specific measure of precompetitive emotion to assess anger, anxiety, dejection, excitement, and happiness. Face, content, factorial, and concurrent validity were examined over four stages. Stage 1 had 264 athletes complete an open-ended questionnaire to identify emotions experienced in sport. The item pool was extended through the inclusion of additional items taken from the literature. In Stage 2 a total of 148 athletes verified the item pool while a separate sample of 49 athletes indicated the extent to which items were representative of the emotions anger, anxiety, dejection, excitement, and happiness. Stage 3 had 518 athletes complete a provisional Sport Emotion Questionnaire (SEQ) before competition. Confirmatory factor analysis indicated that a 22-item and 5-fac-tor structure provided acceptable model fit. Results from Stage 4 supported the criterion validity of the SEQ. The SEQ is proposed as a valid measure of precompetitive emotion for use in sport settings.