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Melissa Evans, Robert Weinberg and Allen Jackson

The purpose of the present investigation was to explore the psychological factors associated with drug use in a group of college athletes and to compare athlete drug users to nonusers. A questionnaire was given to male (N=377) and female (N=167) Division I college athletes asking them about their use or nonuse of drugs. Frequency, intensity, and duration of use/nonuse of seven drug categories (alcohol, amphetamines, anabolic steroids, barbiturates, cocaine, hallucinogens, and marijuana) were used to divide subjects into categories of high user and low user/nonuser on each of the drugs. Dependent measures included the Profile of Mood States (POMS), the Coopersmith Self-Esteem Test, and questions assessing the stressors athletes experience in their dual role as student-athletes. A MANOVA was conducted to distinguish significant differences between high and low drug users on the dependent variables. Results indicated that alcohol, the most widely used drug, produced the most significant results. Specifically, discriminant analysis revealed high alcohol users (75th percentile) had significantly higher scores on the POMS anger, fatigue, and vigor subscales than did the low alcohol users (25th percentile). In addition, females in the alcohol low user/nonuser group felt more pressure from coaches to perform well than did females in the high user group; for males, the reverse was true. Future research recommendations include using larger subject pools and athletes of different ages and skill levels.

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Robert Weinberg, Robert Grove and Allen Jackson

The purpose of the present investigation was to compare Australian tennis coaches’ frequency of use, and perceived effectiveness, of 13 self-efficacy building strategies to those of American tennis coaches. Subjects were 60 Australian tennis coaches coaching at the club or state level. Results indicated that Australian coaches used all 13 strategies designed to enhance selfefficacy to a moderate degree and found these techniques to be at least moderately effective. The most often-used strategies to enhance self-efficacy, as well as those strategies found most effective, included encouraging positive self-talk, modeling confidence oneself, using instruction drills, using rewarding statements liberally, and using verbal persuasion. When comparing the results of the Australian and American coaches, few differences were found. However, the American coaches used more of the following self-efficacy strategies: conditioning drills, the modeling of other successful players, the emphasis that feelings of anxiety are not fear but are a sign of readiness, and the emphasis that failure results from lack of effort or experience and not from a lack of innate ability. Results are discussed in terms of Bandura’s self-efficacy theory and Weinberg and Jackson’s (1990) efficacy-building strategies used by American tennis coaches. Future directions for research are offered.

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Robert Weinberg, Lawrence Bruya and Allen Jackson

The purpose of the present investigation was twofold: to determine if subjects who set specific difficult goals perform significantly better than those who set "do your best" goals, and to examine the importance of goal proximity on the performance of the 3-minute sit-up test. Two experiments were conducted, and subjects (N = 96) in both were matched on ability and then randomly assigned to one of the following conditions: (a) short-term goals, (b) long-term goals, (c) short-term plus long-term goals, and (d) "do your best" goals. They were tested once a week for either 5 weeks (Experiment 1) or 3 weeks (Experiment 2). Subjects in the short-term goal condition had weekly sit-up goals, whereas those in the long-term goal condition had only an end goal Performance results from both experiments revealed no significant between-group difference. Questionnaire data indicated that all subjects tried hard, were committed to their goals, and were ego-involved. Manipulation checks revealed, however, that subjects from all conditions were setting their own goals in addition to their experimenter-set goal. Other possible explanations for the lack of differences are couched in the nature of the subject population and the nature of the task.

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Robert S. Weinberg, Daniel Gould and Allen Jackson

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Robert Weinberg, Daniel Gould and Allen Jackson

The present investigation was designed to test the predictions of Bandura's (1977) theory of self-efficacy in a competitive, motor-performance situation. Subjects (30 males and 30 females) were randomly assigned to either a high or low self-efficacy condition in a 2 × 2 × 2 (sex × self-efficacy × trials) factorial design. Self-efficacy was manipulated by having subjects compete against a confederate on a muscular leg-endurance task where the confederate was said to be either a varsity ;rack athlete who exhibited higher performance on a related task (low self-efficacy) or an individual who had a knee injury and exhibited poorer performance on a related task (high self-efficacy). Because self-efficacy theory predicts that expectation-performance differences are maximized in the face of obstacles and aversive consequences, the experiment was rigged so that subjects lost in competition to the confederate on both trials. The results supported self-efficacy predictions with the high self-efficacy subjects extending their legs significantly longer than low self-efficacy subjects. Moreover, after failing on the first trial, high self-efficacy subjects extended their legs for a longer time than low self-efficacy subjects on the second trial. A postexperimental questionnaire revealed significant differences in cognitive states (e.g., expectations, attributions, self-talk) between high and low self-efficacy subjects, as well as between males and females. Results are discussed in terms of learned helplessness and differing patterns of sex-role socialization.

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Desiree Caudill, Robert Weinberg and Allen Jackson

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David Yukelson, Robert Weinberg and Allen Jackson

The purpose of the present study was to develop a valid and reliable group cohesion instrument that measures both task-related and social-related forces that are presumed to exist in interacting sport groups. Male and female intercollegiate basketball players (N = 196) completed a 41-item sport cohesion instrument. Results from two different factor analytical techniques revealed four robust common factors which accounted for greater than 80% of the variance of the total common factor structure. The four derived common factors were labeled Attraction to the Group, Unity of Purpose, Quality of Teamwork, and Valued Roles. In addition, the internal consistency of the adjusted 22-item sport cohesion instrument was found to be high, yielding a .93 alpha reliability coefficient. The findings suggest that group cohesion in intercollegiate basketball teams is multidimensional in nature, consisting of common goals, valued roles, teamwork that is complimentary to the goals the group is striving to achieve, and feelings of satisfaction and/or identification with group membership.

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Robert Weinberg, Margie Reveles and Allen Jackson

This investigation was done to gather some exploratory data concerning the attitudes and feelings of male and female college, high school, and junior high school varsity basketball players toward having a female coach versus a male coach. Subjects (N = 85) indicated their attitudes for playing for a hypothetical male or female coach (randomly assigned to condition) in a 2 x 2 (sex of athlete x sex of coach) between-subjects design. They were instructed to complete a questionnaire consisting of 11 items that tapped their attitudes and feelings toward a new coach. Identical background information was provided to subjects concerning the qualifications of the coach, the only difference being that for one group of subjects the coach was said to be female whereas for the other group of subjects the coach was said to be a male. Results were analyzed by a MANOVA and indicated significant interactions on seven questions, with simple main effects consistently indicating that males displayed more negative attitudes toward female coaches than did females while males and females did not differ in their view of male coaches. Results are discussed in terms of sex-role socialization patterns for males and females.

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Daniel Gould, Robert Weinberg and Allen Jackson

Two experiments were conducted to determine if different mental preparation strategies produced differential strength performance and whether arousal was the major mediating variable explicating this relationship. In the first experiment, 15 male and 15 female subjects performed under five different mental preparation conditions in a 2 × 5 (sex by mental preparation strategy) Latin square design. The mental preparation conditions included: attentional focus, imagery, preparatory arousal, a control-rest condition, and a counting backwards cognitive-distraction condition. Immediately after employing each technique, all subjects performed four trials on a leg-strength task, and measures of state anxiety and other cognitions were then obtained. The findings revealed that the preparatory arousal and imagery techniques produced the greatest change in performance, with preparatory arousal subjects also reporting the greatest changes in cognitive states. However, due to the possibility of range effects resulting from the within-subjects design used in Experiment I, a second between-subjects experiment was conducted. Thirty males and 30females performed in a 2 × 3 (sex by mental preparation) design using the preparatory arousal, imagery and control conditions of Experiment 1. Only the preparatory arousal condition was found to facilitate performance. However, no consistent changes in cognitive states were found between experiments, and these inconsistent findings were interpreted as being caused by methodological problems associated with self-report assessment of cognitive states.

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Robert S. Weinberg, David Yukelson and Allen Jackson

The present investigation was designed to extend Weinberg, Gould, and Jackson's (1979) efficacy-performance results to a back-to-back competitive situation as well as to determine whether performance would be affected by the solicitation of public vs. private expectancy statements. Subjects (56 males and 56 females) were randomly assigned to either a high or low self-efficacy condition and either stated their expectancy of success publicly or privately in a 2 × 2 × 2 (sex × self-efficacy × publiclprivate) factorial design. Self-efficacy was manipulated by having subjects compete against a confederate on a muscular leg-endurance task in which the confederate was said to be either a varsity track athlete who exhibited higher performance on a related task (low self-efficacy), or an individual who had a knee injury and exhibited poorer performance on a related task (high self-efficacy). The results supported self-efficacy predictions, and thus extended Weinberg et al.'s findings to a back-to-back competitive situation. The public/private manipulation produced no significant performance effects. In addition, the sex by self-efficacy interaction indicated that the self-efficacy main effect was due primarily to high-efficacy males extending their legs significantly longer than low-efficacy males. These results are discussed in terms of the differing patterns of sex-role socialization.