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Tripartite Efficacy Profiles: A Cluster Analytic Investigation of Athletes’ Perceptions of Their Relationship With Their Coach

Ben Jackson, Daniel F. Gucciardi, and James A. Dimmock

Recent studies of coach–athlete interaction have explored the bivariate relationships between each of the tripartite efficacy constructs (self-efficacy; other-efficacy; relation-inferred self-efficacy, or RISE) and various indicators of relationship quality. This investigation adopted an alternative approach by using cluster analyses to identify tripartite efficacy profiles within a sample of 377 individual sport athletes (M age = 20.25, SD = 2.12), and examined how individuals in each cluster group differed in their perceptions about their relationship with their coach (i.e., commitment, satisfaction, conflict). Four clusters emerged: High (n = 128), Moderate (n = 95), and Low (n = 78) profiles, in which athletes reported relatively high, moderate, or low scores across all tripartite perceptions, respectively, as well as an Unfulfilled profile (n = 76) in which athletes held relatively high self-efficacy, but perceived lower levels of other-efficacy and RISE. Multivariate analyses revealed differences between the clusters on all relationship variables that were in line with theory. These results underscore the utility of considering synergistic issues in the examination of the tripartite efficacy framework.

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The Impact of Automatically Activated Motivation on Exercise-Related Outcomes

Lauren K. Banting, James A. Dimmock, and J. Robert Grove

This study examined the effect of motivational primes on participants (N = 171) during a cycling task. Relative to participants primed with a controlled motivational orientation, it was hypothesized that participants primed for autonomous motivation would report greater feelings of enjoyment, effort, and choice in relation to the cycling activity and report greater exercise intentions. Members of the autonomous prime group were expected to exercise for longer, at a greater percentage of their heart rate maximum, and report lower levels of perceived exertion than those in the controlled prime condition. It was found that, relative to participants in the controlled prime group, those who received the autonomous prime enjoyed the exercise more, exercised at a greater percentage of heart rate maximum, and reported a lower rating of perceived exertion. Furthermore, participants experiencing the controlled prime exercised for less time and had lower intentions to exercise than did other participants. Results highlight the importance of automatic processes in activating motivation for exercise.

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Toward a Multidimensional Model of Athletes’ Commitment to Coach-Athlete Relationships and Interdependent Sport Teams: A Substantive-Methodological Synergy

Ben Jackson, Daniel F. Gucciardi, and James A. Dimmock

Drawing from a three-factor model of organizational commitment, we sought to provide validity evidence for a multidimensional conceptualization designed to capture adolescent athletes’ commitment to their coach–athlete relationship or their team. In Study 1, 335 individual-sport athletes (M age = 17.32, SD = 1.38) completed instruments assessing affective, normative, and continuance commitment to their relationship with their coach, and in Study 2, contextually modified instruments were administered to assess interdependent-sport athletes’ (N = 286, M age = 16.31, SD = 1.33) commitment to their team. Bayesian structural equation modeling revealed support for a three-factor (in comparison with a single-factor) model, along with relations between commitment dimensions and relevant correlates (e.g., satisfaction, return intentions, cohesion) that were largely consistent with theory. Guided by recent advancements in Bayesian modeling, these studies provide a new commitment instrument with the potential for use and refinement in team- and relationship-based settings and offer preliminary support for a conceptual framework that may help advance our understanding of the factors underpinning individuals’ engagement in sport.

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MAN v FAT Soccer: Feasibility Study and Preliminary Efficacy of a Sport-Based Weight-Loss Intervention for Overweight and Obese Men in Australia

Timothy Budden, James A. Dimmock, Michael Rosenberg, Mark R. Beauchamp, Ian Fitzpatrick, and Ben Jackson

MAN v FAT Soccer is a sport-based weight-loss program for overweight and obese men that originated in the United Kingdom (i.e., as MAN v FAT Football) and appears to successfully engage men with weight loss. We sought to explore whether the program would work in an Australian context by (a) establishing a foundation for the implementation of the program on a larger scale and (b) determining how large-scale implementation is most feasible. We conducted a nonrandomized, single intervention group feasibility trial of MAN v FAT Soccer in Australia with 418 male participants with a body mass index greater than 27.50 kg/m2. Results indicate that the program is acceptable, with participants reporting positive perceptions of the various components of the program and a high proportion reporting intentions to recommend the program to others (95.9%). Furthermore, preliminary effectiveness results indicate positive changes in weight (4.6% reduction) and physical activity (88.5% increase) and improvements in psychological outcomes such as depression (17.6% decrease), stress (19.0% decrease), and body appreciation (19.1% increase). Our findings provide general support for the feasibility of MAN v FAT Soccer and the notion that leveraging competition and masculinity may help drive men’s health behavior change.

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Student Motivation in High School Physical Education: A Latent Profile Analysis Approach

Barbara E. Bechter, James A. Dimmock, Joshua L. Howard, Peter R. Whipp, and Ben Jackson

Guided by the principles of self-determination theory, the purpose of this study was to identify latent profiles representing high school students’ motivational regulations for physical education (PE) and to model putative predictors and outcomes of profile membership. A sample of 532 Australian high school students, age 12–16 years (M = 13.83, SD = 1.13), reported their motivation for PE, perceptions of need satisfaction in PE, and effort expended in PE. Latent profile analysis revealed evidence of 3 distinct profiles that were consistent with continuum expectations outlined in self-determination theory (i.e., the moderately autonomous, moderately controlled, and highly autonomous profiles), alongside 2 profiles characterized by levels of introjected regulation that aligned with autonomous motives (i.e., the mixed motivation and amotivated profiles). Analyses also revealed that, on the whole, greater need satisfaction predicted membership of more autonomous profiles and that membership of such profiles was predictive of greater self-reported effort in PE. Analyses revealed evidence of qualitatively distinct motivation profiles that were differentially predicted by students’ psychological need satisfaction and predictive of in-class effort. This study is not only the first to use latent profile analysis to explore the role of psychological need satisfaction in predicting PE motivation profiles. It also provides practical information regarding the prevalence and potential outcomes of students’ motivation profiles.

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An Exercise in Resistance: Inoculation Messaging as a Strategy for Protecting Motivation During a Monotonous and Controlling Exercise Class

James A. Dimmock, Marylène Gagné, Lauren Proud, Timothy C. Howle, Amanda L. Rebar, and Ben Jackson

Sustained attention has been devoted to studying the factors that support (or thwart) individuals’ enjoyment of, interest in, and value judgments regarding their exercise activities. We employed a resistance-inducing (i.e., inoculation theory) messaging technique with the aim of protecting these desirable perceptions in the face of environmental conditions designed to undermine one’s positive exercise experiences. Autonomously motivated exercisers (N = 146, M age = 20.57, SD = 4.02) performed a 25-min, group-based, instructor-led exercise circuit, in which the activities were deliberately monotonous, and during which the confederate instructor acted in a disinterested, unsupportive, and critical manner. Shortly before the session, participants received either a control message containing general information about the exercise class or an inoculation message containing a forewarning about potential challenges to participants’ enjoyment/interest/value perceptions during the class, as well as information about how participants might maintain positive perceptions in the face of these challenges. Despite there being no between-conditions differences in presession mood or general exercise motives, inoculated (relative to control) participants reported greater interest/enjoyment in the exercise session and higher perceptions of need support from the instructor. Perceptions of need support mediated the relationship between message condition and interest/enjoyment.

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Experienced Golfers’ Perspectives on Choking Under Pressure

Daniel F. Gucciardi, Jay-Lee Longbottom, Ben Jackson, and James A. Dimmock

Although researchers have experimentally examined the mechanisms underlying pressure-induced forms of suboptimal performance, or “choking under pressure,” there is a lack of research exploring the personal experience of this phenomenon. In an attempt to fill this void in the literature, this study explored experienced golfers’ perceptions of the choking experience within a personal construct psychology (Kelly, 1955/1991) framework. Both male and female golfers participated in either a focus group (n = 12; all males) or one-on-one interview (n = 10; female = 7, male = 3) using experience cycle methodology (Oades & Viney, 2000) to describe their perceptions of the choking experience. Discussions were transcribed verbatim and subsequently analyzed using grounded theory analytical techniques (Strauss & Corbin, 1998). Analyses revealed five central categories representing the personal experience of choking under pressure: antecedents, personal investment, choking event, consequences, and learning experiences. The findings reported here suggest that the choking phenomenon, which can involve acute or chronic bouts of suboptimal performance (relative to the performance expectations of the athlete), is a complex process involving the interplay of several cognitive, attentional, emotional, and situational factors. Implications of the findings for a construct definition of choking are discussed, and several applied considerations are offered.

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Students’ Tripartite Efficacy Beliefs in High School Physical Education: Within- and Cross-Domain Relations With Motivational Processes and Leisure-Time Physical Activity

Ben Jackson, Peter R. Whipp, K.L. Peter Chua, James A. Dimmock, and Martin S. Hagger

Within instructional settings, individuals form relational efficacy appraisals that complement their self-efficacy beliefs. In high school physical education (PE), for instance, students develop a level of confidence in their teacher’s capabilities, as well as estimating how confident they think their teacher is in their (i.e., the students’) ability. Grounded in existing transcontextual work, we examined the motivational pathways through which students’ relational efficacy and self-efficacy beliefs in PE were predictive of their leisure-time physical activity. Singaporean students (N = 990; age M = 13.95, SD = 1.02) completed instruments assessing efficacy beliefs, perceptions of teacher relatedness support, and autonomous motivation toward PE, and 2 weeks later they reported their motivation toward, and engagement in, leisure-time physical activity. Structural equation modeling revealed that students reported stronger other-efficacy and RISE beliefs when they felt that their teacher created a highly relatedness-supportive environment. In turn, their relational efficacy beliefs (a) supported their confidence in their own ability, (b) directly and indirectly predicted more autonomous motives for participation in PE, and (c) displayed prospective transcontextual effects in relation to leisure-time variables. By emphasizing the adaptive motivational effects associated with the tripartite constructs, these findings highlight novel pathways linking students’ efficacy perceptions with leisure-time outcomes.

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“I Think They Believe in Me”: The Predictive Effects of Teammate- and Classmate-Focused Relation-Inferred Self-Efficacy in Sport and Physical Activity Settings

Ben Jackson, Daniel F. Gucciardi, Chris Lonsdale, Peter R. Whipp, and James A. Dimmock

Despite the prevalence of group-/team-based enactment within sport and physical activity settings, to this point the study of relation-inferred self-efficacy (RISE) has been focused upon estimations regarding a single target individual (e.g., one’s coach). Accordingly, researchers have not yet considered whether individuals may also form RISE estimations regarding the extent to which the others in their group/team as a whole are confident in their ability. We applied structural equation modeling analyses with cross-sectional and prospective data collected from members of interdependent sport teams (Studies 1 and 2) and undergraduate physical activity classes (Studies 3 and 4), with the purpose of exploring these group-focused RISE inferences. Analyses showed that group-focused RISE perceptions (a) predicted individuals’ confidence in their own ability, (b) were empirically distinct from conceptually related constructs, and (c) directly and/or indirectly predicted a range of downstream outcomes over and above the effects of other efficacy perceptions. Taken together, these findings provide preliminary evidence that individuals’ group-focused RISE appraisals may be important to consider when investigating the network of efficacy perceptions that develops in group-based physical activity contexts.

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The Self-Presentation Motives for Physical Activity Questionnaire: Instrument Development and Preliminary Construct Validity Evidence

Timothy C. Howle, James A. Dimmock, Peter R. Whipp, and Ben Jackson

With the aim of advancing the literature on impression management in physical activity settings, we developed a theoretically derived 2 by 2 instrument that was designed to measure different types of context-specific selfpresentation motives. Following item generation and expert review (Study 1), the instrument was completed by 206 group exercise class attendees (Study 2) and 463 high school physical education students (Study 3). Our analyses supported the intended factor structure (i.e., reflecting acquisitive-agentic, acquisitive-communal, protective-agentic, and protective-communal motives). We found some support for construct validity, and the self-presentation motives were associated with variables of theoretical and applied interest (e.g., impression motivation and construction, social anxiety, social and achievement goals, efficacy beliefs, engagement). Taken together, the results indicate that the Self-presentation Motives for Physical Activity Questionnaire (SMPAQ) may be useful for measuring various types of self-presentation motives in physical activity settings.