Traditionally, nomothetic and idiographic methodologies have been viewed as antithetical. This dichotomous perspective has caused many researchers to advocate the benefits associated with only one of the two approaches. Such a biased view hinders the acquisition of knowledge in the sport psychology field because the potential benefits that the nonfavored approach can offer are frequently overlooked. The present study demonstrates how research in sport psychology can be enhanced by combining nomothetic and idiographic procedures. This combined approach provides the researcher with the opportunity to validate nomothetic principles at the individual level, while simultaneously generating nomothetic hypotheses from idiographic analyses. To illustrate these points, a nomothetic profile of situational threat perceptions based upon the responses of 46 ice hockey players (reported by Dunn & Nielsen, 1993) is compared with the perceptual profiles of three individual ice hockey players. The comparisons show many unique perceptual differences between the group and individual solutions.
John G.H. Dunn
Many competitive sport anxiety researchers have examined the degree to which athletes worry before or during competition. Little attention has been paid, however, to establishing a conceptual framework for structuring the content of competitive worry. The main purpose of this study was to examine the latent dimensionality of competitive worry in intercollegiate ice hockey (N= 178) using a conceptual framework based on two multidimensional anxiety theories developed by Endler (1983) and Hackfort (1986). Multidimensional scaling and factor-analytic results revealed that competitive worry in ice hockey can be structured around a combination of four potential content domains relating to athletes’ fear of failure, negative social evaluation, injury or physical danger, and the unknown. These constructs were congruent with the situational anxiety dimensions proposed by Endler and Hackfort. Discussion focuses on the characteristic features of the four worry domains and the extent to which athletes were predisposed to experiencing each type of worry.
John G.H. Dunn and Janice Causgrove Dunn
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between goal orientations, perceptions of athletic aggression, and sportspersonship among elite male youth ice hockey players (M age = 13.08 years). Athletes (N = 171) completed questionnaires to assess their goal orientations, attitudes toward directing aggressive behaviors during competition, and non-aggression-related sportspersonship. In accordance with Vallerand, Deshaies, Cuerrier, Brière, and Pelletier (1996), sportspersonship was conceptualized as a five-dimensional construct. Multiple regression analyses revealed that high ego-oriented athletes were more inclined to approve of aggressive behaviors than those with low ego orientation. Players with higher levels of task orientation (rather than low task orientation) had higher sportspersonship levels on three dimensions. An analysis of goal orientation patterns revealed that regardless of ego orientation, low (compared to high) task orientation was more motivationally detrimental to several sportspersonship dimensions. The practical implications of these results are discussed in the context of Nicholls’s (1989) achievement goal theory.
Janice Causgrove Dunn and John G.H. Dunn
The main purpose of this study was to examine the relationships among perceived competence, perceived motivational climate, and participation behaviors of children with movement difficulties (MD) in physical education. Behaviors of 65 children with MD and 65 matched peers without MD from Grades 4-6 were observed and coded. A MANOVA revealed significant differences between the two groups in the proportions of adaptive and maladaptive behaviors. Hierarchical regression analyses indicated a tendency for participants with MD with higher self-reported perceptions of competence to spend proportionally more time engaged in adaptive behaviors and less time engaged in maladaptive behaviors. Significant interactions revealed that the effect of self-reported perceptions of a performance climate on participation was conditional upon perceived competence levels.
John G.H. Dunn, Janice Causgrove Dunn and Daniel G. Syrotuik
This study examined the relationship between perfectionism and goal orientations among male Canadian Football players (M age = 18.24 years). Athletes (N = 174) completed inventories to assess perfectionist orientations and goal orientations in sport. Perfectionism was conceptualized as a multidimensional construct and was measured with a newly constructed sport-specific version of the Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale (MPS; Frost, Marten, Lahart, & Rosenblate, 1990). Exploratory factor analysis of the modified MPS revealed four sport-related perfectionism dimensions: perceived parental pressure, personal standards, concern over mistakes, and perceived coach pressure. Canonical correlation analysis obtained two significant canonical functions (R C1 = .36; R C2 = .30). The first one revealed that task orientation was positively correlated with an adaptive profile of perfectionism. The second one revealed that ego orientation was positively associated with a maladaptive profile of perfectionism. Results are discussed in the context of Hamachek’s (1978) conceptualization of adaptive and maladaptive perfectionism.
John G.H. Dunn and Nicholas L. Holt
This study examined 27 male intercollegiate ice hockey players’ subjective responses to a personal-disclosure mutual-sharing team building activity (cf. Crace & Hardy, 1997; Yukelson, 1997) delivered at a national championship tournament. Athletes participated in semistructured interviews 2 to 4 weeks after the team building meetings. Results revealed that the meetings were emotionally intense, and some participants described their involvement in these meetings as a significant life experience. Participants perceived certain benefits associated with the meetings including enhanced understanding (of self and others), increased cohesion (closeness and playing for each other), and improved confidence (confidence in teammates and feelings of invincibility). Results are discussed in terms of their potential to guide future applied evaluation research of team building programs in sport.
John G.H. Dunn and Nicholas L. Holt
This study examined collegiate male ice hockey players’ (N = 27, mean age = 22.4 years) perceptions of factors associated with the delivery of a sport psychology program. Participants were engaged in semistructured interviews. Interview data were transcribed verbatim and inductively analyzed. Results revealed that in terms of program delivery, the athletes had favorable perceptions of the absence of the (technical) coaching staff from sport psychology meetings and raised time demand issues. The sport psychology consultant was perceived to fulfill multiple roles (e.g., teammate, liaison, co-coach), and as being socially and emotionally involved with the team. Other results pertaining to the consultant reflected the importance of respect and communication skills. Implications for practitioners working in team settings are discussed.
Nicholas L. Holt and John G.H. Dunn
The overall purpose of this study was to provide professional guidance to practitioners who may wish to deliver Personal-Disclosure Mutual-Sharing (PDMS) team building activities. First we replicated and evaluated a PDMS intervention previously used by Dunn and Holt (2004). Fifteen members (M age = 25.4 yrs) of a high performance women’s soccer team provided evaluative data about the intervention they received via reflective interviews. Benefits of the PDMS activity were enhanced understanding, increased cohesion, and improved confidence. Guidelines for professionals who may wish to use this team building approach are provided in terms of (a) establishing group communication practices during the season, (b) delivering the meeting, and (c) demonstrating contextual sensitivity.
John G.H. Dunn and A. Brian Nielsen
To fully understand why athletes experience anxiety in specific competitive situations, the psychological dimensions upon which threat perceptions are based must also be understood. No studies to date have been designed primarily to facilitate direct cross-sport comparisons of the constructs. The purposes of this study were (a) to identify the psychological dimensions upon which athletes in ice hockey and soccer base threat perceptions towards specific anxiety-inducing game situations, and (b) to determine whether athletes from these sports held similar threat perceptions towards parallel cross-sport situations. Seventy-one athletes rated the degree of similarity of threat perceptions across 15 sport-specific game situations. A multidimensional scaling analysis revealed similar three-dimensional solutions for each sport. However, certain distinct between-sport differences were also observed. Furthermore, the perceptions of threat towards certain situations were found to be multidimensional. The implications these findings have for competitive-anxiety research are discussed.
Jeffrey K. H. Vallance, John G. H. Dunn and Janice L. Causgrove Dunn
This study examined the degree to which male youth ice hockey playersʼ (N = 229, M age = 14.15 years; SD = 1.03) perfectionist orientations were associated with anger vulnerability in competition. Perfectionism and trait anger were measured as domain-specific constructs. Athletes were also asked to speculate on the likely intensity of anger responses if they were to commit mistakes in high- and low-criticality situations in competition. Canonical correlation results indicated that heightened perfectionist orientations were associated with heightened competitive trait anger. Cluster analyses produced three clusters of athletes who possessed either low, moderate, or high levels of perfectionism. Significant between-cluster differences on anger responses to mistakes were obtained, with highly perfectionistic athletes anticipating significantly higher levels of anger following mistakes than low and moderately perfectionistic athletes. A significant situation-criticality main effect was also observed, with athletes anticipating higher levels of anger following personal mistakes in high- as opposed to low-criticality situations. Results are discussed within the context of cognitive motivational theories of emotion.