Grounded in the basic needs mini-theory (Deci & Ryan, 2000), this study examined the interplay among perceptions of the social environment manifested in vocational dance schools, basic need satisfaction, and indices of elite dancers’ well- and ill-being. The hypothesized mediating role of need satisfaction was also tested. Dancers (N = 392) completed a questionnaire tapping the targeted variables. Structural equation modeling supported a model in which perceptions of task-involving dance environments positively predicted need satisfaction. Perceived ego-involving climates negatively corresponded with competence and relatedness. Perceptions of autonomy support were positively related to autonomy and relatedness. Need satisfaction positively predicted positive affect. Competence and relatedness satisfaction corresponded negatively to reported negative affect. Emotional and physical exhaustion was not related to need satisfaction. Partial support emerged for the assumed mediation of the needs. Results highlight the relevance of task-involving and autonomy-supportive dance climates for elite dancers’ need satisfaction and healthful engagement in vocational dance.
Eleanor Quested and Joan L. Duda
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.
Eleanor Quested, Jos A. Bosch, Victoria E. Burns, Jennifer Cumming, Nikos Ntoumanis, and Joan L. Duda
Self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 2000) posits basic psychological need satisfaction (BPNS) as essential for optimal functioning and health. Grounded in this framework, the current study examined the role of BPNS in dancers’ cognitive appraisals and hormonal and emotional responses to performance stress. Dancers reported their degree of BPNS 1 month before a solo performance. Threat and challenge appraisals of the solo were recorded 2 hr before the performance. Salivary cortisol and anxiety were measured 15 min before, and 15, 30, 45, and 60 min postperformance. Higher BPNS was associated with lower cortisol responses and anxiety intensity. Challenge appraisals mediated the association between BPNS and cortisol. Threat appraisals mediated the BPNS–anxiety intensity relationship. These findings point to the potential importance of performers’ BPNS for optimal emotional and hormonal homeostasis in performance conditions.
Cecilie Thøgersen-Ntoumani, Anthony Papathomas, Jonathan Foster, Eleanor Quested, and Nikos Ntoumanis
We explored perceptions of social dance as a possible intervention to improve cognitive function in older adults with subjective memory complaints. A total of 30 participants (19 females; mean age = 72.6 years; SD = 8.2) took part in the study. This included 21 participants who had self-reported subjective memory complaints and nine spouses who noticed spousal memory loss. Semistructured interviews were conducted, and a thematic analysis was used to analyze the data. Three main themes were constructed: (a) dance seen as a means of promoting social interaction; (b) chronic illness as a barrier and facilitator to participation; and (c) social dance representing nostalgic connections to the past. Overall, the participants were positive about the potential attractiveness of social dance to improve cognitive and social functioning and other aspects of health. In future research, it is important to examine the feasibility of a social dance intervention among older adults with subjective memory complaints.
Jenny L. Olson, Anthony Papathomas, Marlene Kritz, Nikos Ntoumanis, Eleanor Quested, and Cecilie Thøgersen-Ntoumani
This qualitative research explored older adults’ perceptions of participating in group-based walking programs set in independent-living retirement village contexts. Semistructured interviews were conducted with a subset of participants from the Residents in Action Trial. Data were analyzed through a combination of deductive and inductive thematic analysis. Findings were interpreted from a social identity perspective. Five themes were identified: (a) varying levels of social cohesion in retirement villages; (b) degree of shared identity between residents; (c) health, mobility, and preferred pace; (d) devotion to spouse; and (e) busy lives. When designing group-based walking interventions in retirement villages, it is important to consider community-level social cohesion and degree of relatedness between village residents. When attempting to build a sense of shared identity and relatedness between group members, researchers and policy makers should consider differing backgrounds, capabilities, schedules, and interests of participants.
Nathan Smith, Damien Tessier, Yannis Tzioumakis, Eleanor Quested, Paul Appleton, Philippe Sarrazin, Athanasios Papaioannou, and Joan L. Duda
This article outlines the development and validation of the Multidimensional Motivational Climate Observation System (MMCOS). Drawing from an integration of the dimensions of the social environment emphasized within achievement goal theory and self-determination theory (as assumed within Duda’s  conceptualization of “empowering” and “disempowering” climates), the MMCOS was developed to enable an objective assessment of the coach-created motivational environment in sport. Study 1 supported the initial validity and reliability of the newly developed observation system. Study 2 further examined the interobserver reliability and factorial structure of the MMCOS. Study 3 explored the predictive validity of the observational system in relation to athletes’ reported basic psychological need satisfaction. Overall, the results of these studies provide preliminary support for the inter- and intraobserver reliability, as well as factorial and predictive validity of the MMCOS. Suggestions for the use of this observational system in future research in sport are provided.