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Antidepressant Effects Associated with Different Exercise Conditions in Participants with Depression: A Pilot Study

Fabien Legrand and Jean Philippe Heuze

In this article, we examined the antidepressant influence of an 8-week-long aerobic exercise intervention in which two training parameters were manipulated: exercise frequency and group environment. Twenty-three individuals with elevated symptoms of depression were recruited in a sport and fitness facility and agreed to participate in this 8-week study. They were randomly assigned to three groups: (a) low-frequency exercise (control) (n = 7), (b) high-frequency exercise (n = 8), and (c) high-frequency exercise + group-based intervention (n = 8). Participants completed the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II) at study entry, and at 4 and 8 weeks subsequently. The results showed that those in the high-frequency aerobic exercise experimental groups reported lower depression scores than those in the low-frequency (control) group at 4 weeks (13.2 ± 7.3 and 11.7 ± 3.1 vs. 22.4 ± 7.5) and 8 weeks (10.9 ± 8.1 and 9.6 ± 2.5 vs. 20.7 ± 6.3). However, alleviation in depressive symptoms was not found to be greater in those participants who received a group-based intervention.

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Questionnaire sur l’Ambiance du Groupe: A French-Language Instrument for Measuring Group Cohesion

Jean-Philippe Heuzé and Paul Fontayne

The present report provides a summary of five studies undertaken to develop a French-language instrument to assess cohesiveness in sport teams—the “Questionnaire sur l’Ambiance du Groupe” (QAG). For the initial version of the instrument, the Group Environment Questionnaire (Carron, Widmeyer, & Brawley, 1985) was translated into French using the protocol outlined by Vallerand (1989). However, psychometric analyses undertaken in Studies 1, 2, and 3 failed to yield acceptable evidence of construct validity. Items were then revised in an attempt to make them more suitable for the French culture. Subsequent analyses in Study 4 provided support for the construct validity and reliability (internal consistency and interscale equivalence) of the QAG. In Study 5, predictive validity was demonstrated. The QAG has been found to possess satisfactory psychometric properties as a measure of cohesion in sport teams.

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Should the Coaches of Elite Female Handball Teams Focus on Collective Efficacy or Group Cohesion?

Jean-Philippe Heuzé, Grégoire Bosselut, and Jean-Philippe Thomas

The purpose of this study was to examine the direction of the effect between cohesion and collective efficacy in elite female handball teams. A total of 84 female handball players completed 2 questionnaires at 2 time periods during the competitive season (i.e., early and midseason). Relationships were examined across time at an individual level after statistically controlling for previous group performance. Regression analyses including the autoregressive influence indicated that early-season collective efficacy positively predicted variance in midseason individual attractions to the group-task (ATG-T) after controlling for early-season ATG-T scores. In elite female handball teams, findings only supported collective efficacy as an antecedent of task cohesion and suggested that coaches should promote strategies dedicated to foster athletes’ beliefs about their team efficacy.

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Athletes’ Perceptions of Role Ambiguity and Coaching Competency in Sport Teams: A Multilevel Analysis

Grégoire Bosselut, Jean-Philippe Heuzé, Mark A. Eys, Paul Fontayne, and Philippe Sarrazin

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between athletes’ perceptions of role ambiguity and two theoretically derived dimensions of coaching competency (i.e., game strategy and technique competencies). A total of 243 players from 26 teams representing various interdependent sports completed French versions of the Role Ambiguity Scale and the Coaching Competency Scale. Multilevel analyses supported the existence of relationships between the four dimensions of role ambiguity and the two dimensions of coaching competency at both individual and team levels. When the levels were considered jointly, athletes perceiving greater ambiguity in their role in both offensive and defensive contexts were more critical of their coach’s capacities to lead their team during competitions and to diagnose or formulate instructions during training sessions. The results also indicated that the dimension of scope of responsibilities was the main contributor to the relationship with coaching competency at an individual level, whereas role evaluation was the main contributor to this relationship at a group level. Findings are discussed in relation to the role episode model, the role ambiguity dimensions involved in the relationships according to the level of analysis considered, and the salience of ambiguity perceptions in the offensive context.

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Birds of Different Feathers: Coaches’ Perspectives of Cultural Diversity and Team Dynamics in Professional Sport

Manon Eluère, Luc J. Martin, Michael Godfrey, Clifford J. Mallett, and Jean-Philippe Heuzé

As the number of international transfers increases in professional sport teams, it is unclear how this diversity impacts team functioning, and also, whether coaches feel equipped to meet this new challenge. In this study, we explored professional coaches’ perceptions and experiences of cultural diversity (i.e., national and racioethnic diversity), with a specific emphasis on implications for team dynamics. Semistructured interviews were conducted with nine professional coaches from four interdependent team sports in France (i.e., basketball, football, handball, volleyball). The coaches had experience leading first or second division men’s and/or women’s teams (e.g., two highest national championships in France, Canada, or Italy) and national teams (e.g., France, Belgium, China). Based on a critical realist approach, results indicated that coaches purposefully considered cultural diversity within their teams, and discussed stereotypical differences based on nationalities pertaining to work ethic, communication, and motives for action. Coaches’ international experience and intercultural competence seemed to be key elements that influenced their willingness to consider the cultural diversity of their teams in their coaching/management strategies. Herein, we discuss the importance of purposefully considering a team’s context (e.g., sport, member composition, geographical location) and note that coach intercultural competence appears to be a concept warranting further investigation.