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General Mindfulness Differentially Predicted by Male and Female Exercisers’ Perceptions of Motivational Climate and Goal Orientations

Kristen Lucas and E. Whitney G. Moore

Extending upon Iwasaki and Fry’s study published in 2016, the connections between mindfulness, goal orientations, and motivational climate perceptions were examined among exercisers. Participants (N = 324, 62% women) were surveyed six weeks into their group exercise classes on their perceptions of the class climate (caring, task-involving, and ego-involving), goal orientations (task and ego), and general mindfulness. Separate linear regressions for men and women were run to determine if exercisers’ perceptions of the motivational climate and their goal orientations predicted general mindfulness. Similar to previous research, ego goal orientation did not significantly predict mindfulness. In contrast to previous research, the regression model for women exercisers was not significant and predicted only 2.3% of general mindfulness variance. However, 9.6% of general mindfulness variance was predicted for men by the significant regression model. Men’s perceptions of the caring climate and their task goal orientation were similarly important positive predictors of mindfulness. By fostering a caring climate, exercise instructors have the potential to increase their participants’ general mindfulness, an important avenue for positively affecting participants’ quality of life.

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Psychosocial Climates Differentially Predict 12- to 14-Year-Old Competitive Soccer Players’ Goal Orientations

E. Whitney G. Moore and Karen Weiller-Abels

Youth’s likelihood of participating in sport increases when they maintain a focus on enjoyment, learning, and effort (i.e., task goal orientation) rather than how they compare to others and norms (i.e., ego goal orientation). Achievement goal theory research consistently illustrates the significant influence of leader-created motivational climates on their participants’ goal orientation adoption. However, the influence of caring climate perceptions by highly competitive adolescent athletes on their goal orientation adoption has yet to be examined. Thus, this study assessed how competitive, adolescent soccer players’ perceptions of the climate as caring, task-, and ego-involving predicted their adoption of task and ego goal orientations. Players (N = 152, 62% female, 12–14 years of age) in the Olympic Development Program completed a survey that included measures of the caring climate, task-involving and ego-involving motivational climates, and task and ego goal orientations in soccer. Path analyses revealed males’ task goal orientation was significantly predicted by caring and task-involving climate perceptions. Females’ task goal orientation was significantly predicted by their task-involving climate perceptions. Ego goal orientation was significantly predicted by all athletes’ ego-involving climate perceptions. This is the first study to support the importance of fostering a high caring, as well as high task-involving, and low ego-involving climate when working with highly competitive adolescent athletes to keep their task goal orientation high. Research replicating this study is warranted to provide further support for these relationships longitudinally and across ages and sexes.

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Systematic Review of the Coach–Athlete Relationship From the Coaches’ Perspective

Keith McShan and E. Whitney G. Moore

The purpose of this study was to systematically review the variables associated with the coach–athlete relationship (CAR) from the coaches’ perspective. Three databases were searched; 57 studies published between January 2000 and May 2021 met the inclusion criteria. Correlates (n = 35) were grouped into three categories: coach variables, athlete variables, and coaching behaviors. Variables positively associated with the coaches’ perspective of the CAR included coaching satisfaction, the teaching of life skills, and engaging in need-supportive behaviors. Negative correlates included coaching burnout, athletes’ avoidant attachment style, and coaches’ controlling behaviors. Aside from coach satisfaction, many of the relationships mentioned came from only one or two studies; therefore, replication studies are needed examining CAR from the coaches’ perspective. In conclusion, the better coaches report CAR to be, the more they also report fostering a caring and autonomy-supportive environment, teaching life skills, and being satisfied with their coaching experience.

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A Model of Perfectionism, Moral Disengagement, Altruism, and Antisocial and Prosocial Behaviors in Wheelchair Athletes

Frazer Atkinson, Jeffrey J. Martin, and E. Whitney G. Moore

Two forms of perfectionism were examined in the present study to see whether they predicted prosocial and antisocial behaviors in sport through moral disengagement and altruism in a sample of 327 wheelchair basketball and rugby athletes (M = 33.57 years, SD = 10.51; 83% male). Using structural equation modeling, the following significant direct and indirect effects were found. First, perfectionistic strivings positively predicted perceived prosocial behaviors and altruism. Second, perfectionistic concerns negatively predicted altruism and prosocial behaviors and positively predicted moral disengagement. Third, antisocial behaviors were positively predicted by moral disengagement and altruism. Furthermore, perfectionistic concerns indirectly predicted antisocial behaviors positively through moral disengagement and negatively through altruism. Finally, perfectionistic strivings positively predicted antisocial behaviors through altruism. Results provided partial support for the role of perfectionism in predicting prosocial and antisocial behaviors through moral disengagement among athletes with a disability.

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Exploring the Relationship Between Athletes’ Perceptions of Their Team Motivational Climate and Their Sport Shame

Mario S. Fontana, Mary D. Fry, and E. Whitney G. Moore

Athletes have reported that they would experience shame while playing sport, both for their lack of preparation (process shame) and for their poor outcomes (result shame) during competition. The purpose of this study was to explore how motivational climate is related to athletes’ process and result shame. A survey was administered to 259 high-school track and field athletes before a practice 3 weeks into the season. Structural equation modeling showed that a perceived caring and task-involving motivational climate was positively related to athletes’ process shame and negatively related to their result shame. Perceptions of an ego-involving motivational climate were negatively related to athletes’ process shame and positively related to athletes’ result shame. The results highlight that caring and task-involving behaviors in coaches may help mitigate proneness to shame in athletes.

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Collegiate Student-Athlete Psychological Distress and Counseling Utilization During COVID-19

Lindsey E. Slavin, Tess M. Palmateer, Trent A. Petrie, and E. Whitney G. Moore

The onset of COVID-19 and cancellation of collegiate sports may have exacerbated student-athletes’ psychological distress. Within a national sample of collegiate athletes (N = 5,755; 66.7% women), we determined how gender and race related to rates of depression, stress, and counseling use at the beginning of the pandemic (April/May 2020). Overall, 26.5% (n = 1,526) and 10.6% (n = 612) endorsed clinical levels of depression and stress, respectively; 25.1% (n = 1,443) and 69.7% (n = 4,014) reported subclinical levels. Few athletes (2.3%–17.1%) reported counseling use before or after the onset of COVID-19; those who did reported higher levels of depression and stress than those who never sought services. The female athletes reported higher rates of depression, stress, and counseling use than the male athletes. There were no race effects. Athletic departments must address their student-athletes’ psychological distress by facilitating a higher use of mental health services.

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Transformational Leadership and Positive Youth Development in Basketball

Aubrey Newland, Maria Newton, E. Whitney G. Moore, and W. Eric Legg

Given the key role coaches play in the experience of athletes, understanding the relationship between coach leadership styles and positive youth development (PYD) is crucial. This study examined the relationship of coach transformational leadership (TFL) to PYD. Athletes (n = 203) nested within 28 competitive youth basketball teams completed questionnaires about their coaches’ TFL, and two measures related to their own PYD – Youth Experiences for Sport, measuring PYD specific to the sport context, and a measure to assess the 5Cs (Competence, Confidence, Connection, Character, and Caring). Due to the nested nature of athletes within team and significant intraclass correlations, the predictive contribution of team and individual level perceptions of TFL was assessed with multilevel modeling. Individual and team perceptions of coach TFL significantly predicted 59% of the YES-S variance. In addition to team and individual main effects, a significant cross-level interaction predicted 20% of a player’s development of the 5Cs. Thus, athletes reporting above average coach TFL on teams reporting above average coach TFL reported the greatest 5C development. These results provide additional support for TFL as an avenue to foster PYD. Findings elucidate transformational coach behaviors that are related to positive experiences in youth sport and the 5Cs.

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The Relationship of Resilience, Self-Compassion, and Social Support to Psychological Distress in Women Collegiate Athletes During COVID-19

Matthew Mikesell, Trent A. Petrie, Tsz Lun (Alan) Chu, and E. Whitney G. Moore

Given how COVID-19 had caused significant increases in collegiate athletes’ psychological distress, we examined the extent to which such distress may have been ameliorated by the athletes’ psychosocial resources (e.g., resilience). We used structural equation modeling to examine the direct and indirect relationships of resilience, self-compassion, and social support to women collegiate athletes’ (N = 3,924; 81.2% White) psychological distress; athletes completed measures of these constructs from mid-April to mid-May 2020. Analyses revealed significant direct effects: More supported (β = −0.12 to −0.19), self-compassionate (β = −0.48 to −0.53), and resilient (β = −0.21 to −0.35) athletes experienced less psychological distress (R 2 = .61–.65). Further, self-compassion and social support were related indirectly (and inversely) to psychological distress through higher levels of resilience. These psychosocial resources appear to have played a positive role in how athletes coped with the pandemic, being associated with less psychological distress. These findings have application beyond the pandemic, providing direction for how sport psychology professionals may assist athletes in maintaining their well-being.

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Factor Structure of the Barriers to Physical Activity Scale for Youth With Visual Impairments

Jeffrey J. Martin, Erin E. Snapp, E. Whitney G. Moore, Lauren J. Lieberman, Ellen Armstrong, and Staci Mannella

Youth with visual impairments (VIs) often experience unique barriers to physical activity compared with their sighted peers. A psychometrically sound scale for assessing barriers to physical activity for youth with VI is needed to facilitate research. The purpose of this study was to confirm the ability of the previously identified three-factor structure of the Physical Activity Barriers Questionnaire for youth with Visual Impairments (PABQ-VI) to produce scores considered to be valid and reliable that perform equally well across age, VI severity, and gender. Our results supported the three-factor structure and that the PABQ-VI produces scores considered valid and reliable. Mean, variance, and correlation differences were found in personal, social, and environmental barriers for age and VI severity, but not gender. Researchers can use the PABQ-VI to test and evaluate ways to reduce barriers for this population.