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John W. Mahoney, Daniel F. Gucciardi, Nikos Ntoumanis, and Cliff J. Mallet

We argue that basic psychological needs theory (BPNT) offers impetus to the value of mental toughness as a mechanism for optimizing human functioning. We hypothesized that psychological needs satisfaction (thwarting) would be associated with higher (lower) levels of mental toughness, positive affect, and performance and lower (higher) levels of negative affect. We also expected that mental toughness would be associated with higher levels of positive affect and performance and lower levels of negative affect. Further, we predicted that coaching environments would be related to mental toughness indirectly through psychological needs and that psychological needs would indirectly relate with performance and affect through mental toughness. Adolescent cross-country runners (136 male and 85 female, M age = 14.36) completed questionnaires pertaining to BPNT variables, mental toughness, and affect. Race times were also collected. Our findings supported our hypotheses. We concluded that BPNT is generative in understanding some of the antecedents and consequences of mental toughness and is a novel framework useful for understanding mental toughness.

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Nikos Ntoumanis, Vassilis Barkoukis, Daniel F. Gucciardi, and Derwin King Chung Chan

We brought together various lines of work on motivation, morality, and doping by testing a theory-based model prospectively linking contextual and personal motivational variables, moral attitudes, moral disengagement in doping, doping intentions, and doping use. Participants were 257 Greek athletes who completed a questionnaire pack at the beginning of a sport season. In the case of doping use, we also obtained data close to the end of the same season. The model showed that perceptions of controlling coach behaviors predicted athlete need frustration, which in turn predicted low moral functioning and doping intentions/doping use. The findings highlight pathways (direct and indirect) by which the social environment may impact on athletes’ intentions and decisions to engage in doping and could pave the way for future antidoping interventions aimed at improving coaching interpersonal style.