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Anthony J. Amorose

This study examined: (a) the prevalence of intraindividual variability (i.e., the degree to which individuals exhibit short-term fluctuations in their self-evaluations) of global self-worth, physical self-worth, and perceived physical competence; (b) the independent and combined influence of level and intraindividual variability of self-evaluations on students’ motivation; and (c) the relationship between social sources of evaluative information and intraindividual variability. Students (N = 167) ranging from 12 to 15 years of age (M = 13.48 yrs, SD = .56) completed questionnaires each day that they were in physical education class for 3 weeks (i.e., 6 occasions). Results revealed that most of the students exhibited fluctuations in their self-evaluations over the 3 weeks. Level of self-evaluations was the critical predictor of motivation; however, an interaction with intraindividual variability was also significant. Nonsignificant relationships were found between intraindividual variability and the importance that students placed on social sources of evaluative information. Overall, results indicated that intraindividual variability should be considered along with level as an important index of one’s self-perception profile.

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Anthony J. Amorose

This study examined the reflected appraisal process in female middle school (n = 66; M age = 12.39 – .87 years) and high school athletes (n = 88; M age = 14.70 – 1.08 years). Questionnaires assessed the athletes’ self-perceptions of sport competence and how they perceived their mothers, fathers, coaches, and teammates evaluated their ability in sport. A multiple regression analysis revealed that the various reflected appraisals predicted self-perceptions of competence (p < .01, R2 = .65). Mothers (β = .19), coaches (β = .24), and teammates (β = .47) were each significant predictors, while the reflected appraisal of fathers (β = .08) was non-significant. Squared semi-partial correlations indicated that teammates accounted the greatest amount of unique (sr2 = .25), followed by coaches (sr2 = .08), mothers (sr2 = .05), and fathers (sr2 = .01). Structural equation modeling indicated that the pattern of relationships was the same for middle school and high school athletes.

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Anthony J. Amorose and Peter J.K. Smith

Extending the research by Amorose and Weiss (1998), the present study tested whether experience level moderates the interpretation of coaching feedback as a cue of ability in younger and older children, and examined how descriptive and prescriptive informational feedback are used as a source of competence information. Younger (7–10 years) and older (12–14 years) girls with either high or low experience playing softball watched a series of videotapes depicting four youth sport athletes attempting to hit a softball. After each attempt, whether successful or unsuccessful, a coach was heard giving each athlete a specific type of feedback, either evaluative, descriptive, prescriptive, or neutral. Participants then rated each athlete’s ability, effort, and future expectancy of success. Although the hypothesized experience-level by age-group by feedback-type interactions did not emerge, the results showed strong feedback main effects for ability, effort, and future success. Analysis of these results suggest that feedback provides important cues for ability, effort, and future expectations of success in the physical domain, and that children use several cues of competence information in addition to the coach’s feedback to derive competence information.

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Anthony J. Amorose and Thelma S. Horn

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships among athletes’ intrinsic motivation (IM), gender, scholarship status, perceptions of the number of their teammates receiving scholarships, and perceptions of their coaches’ behavior. Male and female college athletes (N = 386) from a variety of Division I sports completed a series of paper-and-pencil questionnaires. Multivariate analyses revealed that (a) scholarship athletes reported higher levels of IM than did nonscholarship athletes, (b) male athletes reported higher IM than did female athletes, and (c) perceived coaching behaviors were related to athletes’ IM. Specifically, athletes with higher IM perceived their coaches to exhibit a leadership style that emphasized training and instruction and was high in democratic behavior and low in autocratic behavior. In addition, athletes with higher levels of IM perceived that their coaches provided high frequencies of positive and informationally based feedback and low frequencies of punishment-oriented and ignoring behaviors. Results are discussed in terms of cognitive evaluation theory.

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Anthony J. Amorose and Maureen R. Weiss

This study examined, from a developmental perspective, how coaching feedback serves as an ability cue. Boys and girls (N = 60) comprising 2 age groups (6-8, 12-14) viewed videotapes of youth athletes attempting to hit a baseball or softball, followed by a coach who provided evaluative, informational, or neutral feedback. Participants then rated each athlete’s ability, effort, and future expectancy of success. Separate 2 × 2 × 3 (age × gender × feedback type) repeated measures MANOVAs were conducted for the successful and unsuccessful outcome conditions. Following successful attempts, both older and younger children rated praise higher than neutral and informational feedback as a source of ability information. Athletes receiving informational feedback following unsuccessful attempts were rated highest, followed by neutral feedback and criticism. Open-ended questions revealed some age-related differences in use of ability information. Results are discussed in relation to research on sources of competence information and coaching feedback.

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Maureen R. Weiss and Anthony J. Amorose

Both level (high vs. low) and accuracy (discrepancy between perceived and actual) of perceived competence are important contributors to domain-specific emotions and motivational processes. Moreover, age differences in level and accuracy of perceived competence have been explained by the sources of information children use to judge their competence. Thus the purpose of our study was to examine simultaneously the interrelationships among age, actual competence, and level, accuracy, and sources of perceived competence. Children (N = 159) completed self-reports while teachers rated their actual competence at a sport camp. Cluster analysis revealed five profiles of children who varied in age, actual competence, perceived competence, and accuracy of perceived competence. These groups were further distinguished by the importance they placed on competence information sources. Results indicate that age, actual ability, and level, accuracy, and sources of perceived competence should be considered simultaneously in research on self-perception and motivational processes among youth.

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Virginie Nicaise, Geneviève Cogérino, Julien Bois and Anthony J. Amorose

Feedback is considered a critical teaching function, and researchers in sport pedagogy have shown interest in verifying its importance in physical education. Many observational studies have found that boys receive more attention and feedback, particularly praise, criticism, and technical information, than girls. Nevertheless, little is known about students’ perceptions of teacher–student interactions. The aim of this study was to investigate whether students’ perceptions of teacher feedbacks are gender-differentiated in physical education, as well as to determine how perceived feedback is related to students’ perceptions of competence. French high school students (N = 450: 200 boys, 250 girls) completed questionnaires assessing their perceptions of their teachers’ feedback and their perceptions of competence. Results indicated gender differences in the set of variables. Furthermore, the influence of teacher feedback on girls’ perceptions of competence was strong, whereas little relationship was found for boys. These findings are then discussed in terms of teaching effectiveness.

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Maureen R. Weiss, Anthony J. Amorose and Anna Marie Wilko

Based on Harter’s (12,13) competence motivation theory, this study examined the relationship of coaches’ performance feedback and motivational climate with female athletes’ perceived competence, enjoyment, and intrinsic motivation. Female adolescent soccer players (N = 141) completed measures of relevant constructs toward the latter part of their season. Canonical correlation analysis revealed that athletes’ perceptions of greater positive and informational feedback given by coaches in response to successful performance attempts, greater emphasis placed on a mastery climate, and less emphasis placed on a performance climate, were significantly related to greater ability perceptions, enjoyment, and intrinsic motivation. Exploratory analyses also showed that the relationship between feedback and the psychosocial outcomes may vary as a function of the perceived motivational climate. Overall, these results suggest that coaching feedback and motivational climate are important contributors to explaining adolescent females’ continued motivation to participate in sport.