Leadership development programs are common in sports, but seldom evaluated; hence, we have limited knowledge about what the participants actually learn and the impact these programs have on sports clubs’ daily operations. The purpose of the current study was to integrate a transfer of training model with self-determination theory to understand predictors of learning and training transfer, following a leadership development program among organizational leaders in Swedish sports clubs. Bayesian multilevel path analysis showed that autonomous motivation and an autonomy-supportive implementation of the program positively predicted near transfer (i.e., immediately after the training program) and that perceiving an autonomy-supportive climate in the sports club positively predicted far transfer (i.e., 1 year after the training program). This study extends previous research by integrating a transfer of training model with self-determination theory and identified important motivational factors that predict near and far training transfer.
Andreas Stenling and Susanne Tafvelin
Andreas Stenling, Andreas Ivarsson, Urban Johnson, and Magnus Lindwall
Bayesian statistics is on the rise in mainstream psychology, but applications in sport and exercise psychology research are scarce. In this article, the foundations of Bayesian analysis are introduced, and we will illustrate how to apply Bayesian structural equation modeling in a sport and exercise psychology setting. More specifically, we contrasted a confirmatory factor analysis on the Sport Motivation Scale II estimated with the most commonly used estimator, maximum likelihood, and a Bayesian approach with weakly informative priors for cross-loadings and correlated residuals. The results indicated that the model with Bayesian estimation and weakly informative priors provided a good fit to the data, whereas the model estimated with a maximum likelihood estimator did not produce a well-fitting model. The reasons for this discrepancy between maximum likelihood and Bayesian estimation are discussed as well as potential advantages and caveats with the Bayesian approach.
Andreas Ivarsson, Mark B. Andersen, Andreas Stenling, Urban Johnson, and Magnus Lindwall
Null hypothesis significance testing (NHST) is like an immortal horse that some researchers have been trying to beat to death for over 50 years but without any success. In this article we discuss the flaws in NHST, the historical background in relation to both Fisher’s and Neyman and Pearson’s statistical ideas, the common misunderstandings of what p < 05 actually means, and the 2010 APA publication manual’s clear, but most often ignored, instructions to report effect sizes and to interpret what they all mean in the real world. In addition, we discuss how Bayesian statistics can be used to overcome some of the problems with NHST. We then analyze quantitative articles published over the past three years (2012–2014) in two top-rated sport and exercise psychology journals to determine whether we have learned what we should have learned decades ago about our use and meaningful interpretations of statistics.
Daniel F. Gucciardi, Chun-Qing Zhang, Vellapandian Ponnusamy, Gangyan Si, and Andreas Stenling
The aims of this study were to assess the cross-cultural invariance of athletes’ self-reports of mental toughness and to introduce and illustrate the application of approximate measurement invariance using Bayesian estimation for sport and exercise psychology scholars. Athletes from Australia (n = 353, M age = 19.13, SD = 3.27, men = 161), China (n = 254, M age = 17.82, SD = 2.28, men = 138), and Malaysia (n = 341, M age = 19.13, SD = 3.27, men = 200) provided a cross-sectional snapshot of their mental toughness. The cross-cultural invariance of the mental toughness inventory in terms of (a) the factor structure (configural invariance), (b) factor loadings (metric invariance), and (c) item intercepts (scalar invariance) was tested using an approximate measurement framework with Bayesian estimation. Results indicated that approximate metric and scalar invariance was established. From a methodological standpoint, this study demonstrated the usefulness and flexibility of Bayesian estimation for single-sample and multigroup analyses of measurement instruments. Substantively, the current findings suggest that the measurement of mental toughness requires cultural adjustments to better capture the contextually salient (emic) aspects of this concept.
Eleanor Quested, Nikos Ntoumanis, Andreas Stenling, Cecilie Thogersen-Ntoumani, and Jennie E. Hancox
Purpose: This article outlines the development and validation of the Need-Relevant Instructor Behaviors Scale (NIBS). Drawing from self-determination theory, the NIBS is the first observation tool designed to code the frequency and the intensity of autonomy-, competence-, and relatedness-relevant behaviors of exercise instructors. The scale also captures the frequency of need-indifferent behaviors. Methods: The behaviors of 27 exercise instructors were coded by trained raters on two occasions, before and after they received training in adaptive motivational communication. Results: Findings supported the structural validity and reliability of the scale. The scale’s sensitivity to detect changes in frequency and intensity of need-relevant behaviors was also evidenced. Conclusions: The NIBS is a new tool that offers a unique, tripartite assessment of need-relevant behaviors of leaders in the physical activity domain.
Doris Matosic, Nikos Ntoumanis, Ian David Boardley, Andreas Stenling, and Constantine Sedikides
Research on coaching (Bartholomew, Ntoumanis, & Thøgersen-Ntoumani, 2009) has shown that coaches can display controlling behaviors that have detrimental effects on athletes’ basic psychological needs and quality of sport experiences. The current study extends this literature by considering coach narcissism as a potential antecedent of coaches’ controlling behaviors. Further, the study tests a model linking coaches’ (n = 59) own reports of narcissistic tendencies with athletes’ (n = 493) perceptions of coach controlling behaviors, experiences of need frustration, and attitudes toward doping. Multilevel path analysis revealed that coach narcissism was directly and positively associated with athletes’ perceptions of controlling behaviors and was indirectly and positively associated with athletes’ reports of needs frustration. In addition, athletes’ perceptions of coach behaviors were positively associated—directly and indirectly—with attitudes toward doping. The findings advance understanding of controlling coach behaviors, their potential antecedents, and their associations with athletes’ attitudes toward doping.
Derwin K.C. Chan, Andreas Ivarsson, Andreas Stenling, Sophie X. Yang, Nikos L.D. Chatzisarantis, and Martin S. Hagger
Consistency tendency is characterized by the propensity for participants responding to subsequent items in a survey consistent with their responses to previous items. This method effect might contaminate the results of sport psychology surveys using cross-sectional design. We present a randomized controlled crossover study examining the effect of consistency tendency on the motivational pathway (i.e., autonomy support → autonomous motivation → intention) of self-determination theory in the context of sport injury prevention. Athletes from Sweden (N = 341) responded to the survey printed in either low interitem distance (IID; consistency tendency likely) or high IID (consistency tendency suppressed) on two separate occasions, with a one-week interim period. Participants were randomly allocated into two groups, and they received the survey of different IID at each occasion. Bayesian structural equation modeling showed that low IID condition had stronger parameter estimates than high IID condition, but the differences were not statistically significant.