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.
E. Whitney G. Moore and Karen Weiller-Abels
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.