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Kevin S. Spink

This study examined the effects of a cognitive strategy (dissociation) and an analgesic suggestion on the duration and pain ratings of individuals performing a muscular endurance task. Thirty-six individuals were randomly assigned to one of three experimental groups: dissociation group, dissociation/analgesic group, and a control group. Measures of leg-holding times and subjective pain ratings were obtained twice, once before the treatment and once after the treatment. Results indicated that individuals in the dissociation/analgesic group performed significantly better on the posttest than individuals in the dissociation and control groups. No significant differences in reported pain ratings were found between any of the three groups. The findings are discussed in terms of alternative explanations. Future research directions are also provided.

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Kevin S. Spink

This study examined whether perceptions of team cohesiveness could be used to predict intention to participate during a following season. In Study 1, female participants in recreational ringette teams completed the Group Environment Questionnaire after completing the season. Intention to return for the next season also was assessed via questionnaire. Discriminant function analysis revealed that those intending to return for the next season held significantly greater perceptions of social cohesion. In Study 2, a replication of Study 1 using elite ringette team members, perceptions of social cohesion once again proved to be reliable predictors of intention to participate next season. Elite female athletes who indicated that they would return for another season were most likely to perceive the social cohesiveness with their team as high. Both studies support the conclusion that perceptions of social cohesiveness are positively related to the intention to continue to participate.

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Kevin S. Spink

The main purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between group cohesion and collective efficacy in volleyball teams. A secondary purpose was to determine whether the cohesion/collective efficacy relationship would be moderated by the type of group selected. The results supported the conclusion that specific measures of group cohesiveness were positively related to collective efficacy for elite volleyball teams, but not for recreational teams. In the elite teams, Individual Attractions to Group-Task and Group Integration-Social were found to differentiate significantly between low and high collective efficacy teams, with the high collective efficacy teams rating cohesiveness higher. No significant results emerged, however, when the relationship between group cohesion and collective efficacy was examined for recreational teams. This suggests the need for future research to address the cohesion/collective efficacy question from a comparative perspective.

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Kevin S. Spink and Kayla Fesser

Correcting mistakes is a key component in sport performance. Typically, the coach is tasked with providing this feedback. While teammates could serve this role, it is not the norm for teammates to provide this feedback (Goldsmith & Fitch, 1997). The purpose of the present study was to examine the effect of coach and player sources of social influence on increasing player intention to intervene with teammates following a technical mistake. Adult soccer players (N = 170) read one of five hypothetical soccer team vignettes where the description differed in the levels of coach and player social influence about intervening with teammates. Participants rated their intention to intervene with teammates who made a technical mistake during a game. ANCOVA results indicated that the overall model was significant (p < .002). Post hoc analyses revealed that intention to intervene was higher when teams were described as having a coach that encouraged players to intervene and the team norm was for players to intervene. However, this was not the case when coach and teammate social influences were at cross purposes. This provides initial support that aligned social influences from the coach and players increase soccer players’ intentions to intervene when their teammates make technical mistakes.

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Colin D. McLaren and Kevin S. Spink

Past research in sport has identified a relationship between communication as a social property (i.e., acceptance, distinctiveness, positive conflict, and negative conflict) and task cohesion. Operationalizing communication in this manner is viewing the construct through a social lens. Given that forming task-cohesion perceptions also might be linked to how members exchange information, examining the relationship between communication as information exchange and cohesion appears worthwhile. Results from a hierarchical regression (N = 176) revealed that team member communication as both a social property and information exchange positively predicted perceived task cohesion while controlling for team performance (Radj2=.52). Relevant to the study purpose, it was found that communication as information exchange not only contributed unique variance to task cohesion after controlling for communication as a social property and team performance, β = 0.32, sr (semipartial correlation) = .24, but also resulted in a reallocation in variance from the previously significant communication social properties predicting task cohesion.

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Albert V. Carron and Kevin S. Spink

The purpose of the study was to determine if cohesion could be enhanced in fitness classes through a psychological intervention program focusing on team-building concepts. University aerobics classes were randomly assigned to an experimental (n=8) or a control (n=9) condition. The instructors in the experimental condition were brought to a workshop where the potential benefits of cohesiveness for exercise classes were outlined and a conceptual model for team building was presented. Using the conceptual model as a frame of reference, the instructors established the specific interventions to be used in team building in their classes. Each class met three times a week for 13 weeks; the team-building strategies were implemented in classes in the experimental condition. Discriminant function analysis showed that the experimental (team-building) and control conditions could be differentiated on the basis of their cohesiveness, χ2(1) = 12.39, p<.001. Participants in the experimental condition expressed more individual attractions to the group task (ATG-Task) than participants in the control condition. A t test also showed that the team-building program significantly enhanced individual satisfaction, t(192) = 6.01, p<.001.

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Kevin S. Spink and Glyn C. Roberts

Previous research in the attributional analysis of individuals involved in athletic settings has typically used objective outcome as the primary determinant of causal attributions. Recent theorizing has suggested that objective outcome may not be the most adequate way of defining success and failure. Rather, success and failure may be more aptly described in terms of an individual's subjective perception of the implications of outcome for desirable personal qualities, especially ability. A field study was conducted to assess the effects of perceived outcome on the causal attributions of racquetball players. Prior to participating in a competitive two-person racquetball game, individuals indicated their expectancy of success against their opponent. Following the game, individuals rated their performance satisfaction, own competency, their opponent's competency, as well as rating the extent to which the outcome was due to internal or external factors. The results showed that the clearly perceived outcomes were attributed internally, while the ambiguous outcomes were attributed externally. The finding suggests that objective outcome may not be the best determinant of success and failure causal attributions.

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Alyson J. Crozier and Kevin S. Spink

The primary purpose of this research was to examine the influence of different normative (descriptive, injunctive) messages on individual self-reported effort in sport. Adult recreational volleyball athletes (n = 58) reported their self-perceived effort, were randomly assigned through their team designation to one of three conditions (descriptive norm, injunctive norm, control) and then received multiple e-mail messages specific to their condition motivating them to work hard. Participants reported their self-perceived effort a second time after receipt of these messages. The results from a one-way ANCOVA, controlling for initial perceived effort, revealed that those in the normative conditions reported greater perceived effort than those in the control condition. Preliminary evidence is provided suggesting that individual self-reported effort may be significantly impacted by the perception of what others are doing and what others approve of within that environment (i.e., normative information).

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Kevin S. Spink and Albert V. Carron

This study examined whether a team-building intervention program would positively influence participant adherence in an exercise setting. Thirteen fitness classes were randomly assigned to a team-building condition (n=6 classes) or a control condition (n=7 classes). Instructors from the team-building condition participated in a training program for team building in their classes. Instructors from the control group were neither approached nor informed of the training program. Adherence, which was monitored over a 4-week period, was assessed using measures of attendance, lateness, early departure, and withdrawal. The perception of class cohesiveness was assessed during the 8th week of class using the Group Environment Questionnaire. The team building group had significantly higher perceptions of ATG-Task than did the control group (p<.002). In terms of adherence, there were significantly fewer drop-outs and late arrivals among participants in the classes with the team-building program.

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Kevin S. Spink and Albert V. Carron

The purpose of this investigation was to examine the relationship of group cohesion to adherence in women participating in exercise classes. Two measures of adherence were examined: absenteeism and lateness. Results from a stepwise discriminant analysis conducted on the absenteeism data revealed that the two absenteeism groups could be differentiated on the basis of their endorsement of individual attractions to the group-task (ATG-T) and -social (ATG-S), with individuals who were absent less reporting greater ATG-T and ATG-S than those who were absent more. The results of a stepwise discriminant analysis conducted on the lateness variable revealed that ATG-T significantly differentiated between the two groups. Individuals who were late less scored higher on ATG-T than did those who were late more often. These findings provide support for the suggestion that selected aspects of group cohesion play a role in the adherence behavior of female exercise participants.