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Maureen R. Weiss, Alan L. Smith and Marc Theeboom

The influence of peer groups on children’s psychosocial development is highlighted in the sport psychology literature in areas such as motivation, self-perceptions, and affect. However, scant research has been devoted to examining children’s and teenagers’ conceptions of friendships within the physical domain. Current and former sport program participants (N = 38) took part in an in-depth interview that concerned their best friend in sports. An inductive content analysis revealed the existence of 12 positive friendship dimensions: companionship, pleasant play/association, self-esteem enhancement, help and guidance, prosocial behavior, intimacy, loyalty, things in common, attractive personal qualities, emotional support, absence of conflicts, and conflict resolution. Four negative friendship dimensions were extracted: conflict, unattractive personal qualities, betrayal, and inaccessible. These conceptions of friendship were both similar and unique to friendship conceptions found in mainstream developmental research. Future research directions include measurement efforts, relationships among important constructs, and intervention techniques in the sport setting.

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Hebe Schaillée, Ramón Spaaij, Ruth Jeanes and Marc Theeboom

Funding bodies seek to promote scientific research that has a social or economic impact beyond academia, including in sport management. Knowledge translation in sport management remains largely implicit and is yet to be fully understood. This study examines how knowledge translation in sport management can be conceptualized and fostered. The authors draw on a comparative analysis of coproduced research projects in Belgium and Australia to identify the strategic, cognitive, and logistic translation practices that researchers adopt, as well as enablers and constraints that affect knowledge translation. The findings show ways in which knowledge translation may be facilitated and supported, such as codesign, boundary spanning, adaptation of research products, and linkage and exchange activities. The findings reveal individual, organizational, and external constraints that need to be recognized and, where possible, managed.

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Marc Theeboom, Paul De Knop and Maureen R. Weiss

Recent research in educational psychology suggests that provision of a mastery motivational climate will maximize enjoyment, perceived competence, and intrinsic motivation in children (Ames, 1992a, 1992b, 1992c). Minimal research has been conducted to test this proposition in the physical domain. The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of a performance versus mastery oriented teaching program on children’s enjoyment, perceived competence, intrinsic motivation, and motor skill development. Children (N = 119) 8 to 12 years of age were randomly assigned to one of the two programs for 3 weeks during an organized sports program. Results revealed that children in the mastery oriented group reported significantly higher levels of enjoyment and exhibited better motor skills than those in the performance oriented group. In-depth interviews further indicated that children in the mastery program were almost unanimous in reporting high levels of perceived competence and intrinsic motivation, while those from the traditional group showed less pronounced effects. These results provide empirical evidence that a mastery motivational climate can result in more positive experiences for young athletes as they learn new skills.