Using Nicholls’ developmental component as a framework, the purpose of this study was to examine children’s understanding of luck and ability in the physical domain. Children (N = 144, 8 boys and 8 girls at each age from 5 to 13 years) enrolled in public schools participated individually in a 30-min session in which they were shown 2 similar games; one required luck and the other required skill to perform successfully. Participants received an explanation of the games and were told of youngsters who had tried unsuccessfully to play them. Participants were interviewed, and their responses were analyzed via a Piagetian structural developmental method. Results revealed that the 4 levels of understanding of luck and ability Nicholls and Miller (1985) described were relevant to the physical domain. Furthermore, the Spearman rho coefficient indicated a strong positive relationship between children’s age and their level of understanding of luck and ability.
Mary D. Fry
Maria Newton and Mary D. Fry
The purpose of this study was of examine the motivational perspectives of athletes participating in the Senior Olympic Games. One hundred thirty-seven senior athletes (54 males. 82 females, and 1 nonidentifier) completed measures of goal orientations, beliefs about the causes of success in sport, intrinsic motivation, and views about the purpose of sport. Multivariate analysis revealed a positive association between task orientation and intrinsic motivation, the belief that success in sport is achieved through hard work, and self-improvement-based purposes of sport. In contrast, ego orientation was associated with the belief that success in sport is achieved by those who are gifted with natural ability and who know how to maximize external and deceptive factors. Further, ego orientation was linked to the belief that the purpose of sport was for personal gain. The motivational implications of the present findings are discussed based on the tenets of goal perspective theory.
Susumu Iwasaki and Mary D. Fry
This study highlights how sport psychology professionals can assist sport administrators in evaluating and strengthening youth sport programs. A sport psychology research team provided expertise to two sport administrators to develop a survey to examine their athletes’ experiences participating in the programs. The study examines the relationship between athletes’ perceptions of the climate (caring, task, and ego involving) to their intrinsic motivation, caring behaviors, and future intention to participate in the sport. Volleyball clinic (Sample 1: N = 71) and basketball summer camp (Sample 2: N = 138) participants completed the survey. Canonical correlation analyses for each sample revealed one significant function indicating that the athletes’ perceptions of a caring/task-involving climate, along with low perceptions of an ego-involving climate, were associated with higher levels of intrinsic motivation, caring behaviors, and future desire to participate. Sport administrators can use this information for coach training, parent education and overall program evaluation.
Kiira N. Poux and Mary D. Fry
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between studentathletes’ perceptions of the motivational climate on their sport teams and their own career exploration and engagement and athletic identity. Student-athletes (N = 101) from various National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I institutions were administered online surveys. Canonical correlation analysis was used to examine the relationship between the climate variables (i.e., caring, task, and ego) and athletic identity, career self-efficacy, and career exploration/engagement. One significant function emerged: Perceptions of a high task-involving climate and moderate caring climate were positively associated with athletes’ reporting higher athletic identity, career self-efficacy, and career exploration/engagement. Results suggest that Division I athletes may benefit from having coaches who foster a caring and task-involving team climate with regard to the athletes’ development as holistic individuals who spend their college years performing at a high level of sport and also preparing for their lives after college and sports.
Theresa C. Brown and Mary D. Fry
This study examined the relationship between college students’ perceptions of the motivational climate (i.e., caring, task- and ego-involving) in physical activity courses to their physical self-concept, hope, and happiness. Midwestern university undergraduates (N = 412), enrolled in group physical activity classes, completed the following measures: class climate, physical self-concept, hope, and happiness. Canonical correlation analysis revealed that students who perceived a caring, task-involving climate were more likely to report high physical self-concept, hope, and happiness. A gender comparison found that while perceptions of the ego-involving climate were significantly higher for males, the ego climate did not significantly contribute to the males’ canonical correlation. In addition, while physical self-concept was positively associated with climate for both genders, males were more likely to experience higher physical self-concept than females. Results suggest positive and supportive exercise environments may not only help individuals reap the physical benefits of exercise but also the psychological benefits.
Theresa C. Brown and Mary D. Fry
This study examined the effects of a university recreation center intervention aimed at increasing members’ perceptions of a caring, task-involving climate. In addition, members’ perceptions of staff behaviors and their own behaviors were measured. College students (N = 282) completed questionnaires before and after an intervention designed to increase perceptions of a caring, task-involving climate. Results revealed the intervention did increase members’ perceptions of the caring, task-involving climate while reducing perceptions of the ego-involving climate. Members’ perceptions of the staff and their own positive behaviors also increased. The staff’s behaviors predicted members’ perceptions of the three types of climates; moreover, members’ perceptions of the ego-involving climate negatively predicted their caring, task-involving behaviors. The study suggests that members’ perceptions of the climate can be positively influenced through minimal training with recreation center staff and that the behaviors in which the staff engage are an antecedent to members’ perceptions of the motivational climate.
Jennifer Bricker Bone and Mary D. Fry
To determine whether athletes’ perceptions of social support from their certified athletic trainers (ATCs) were related to their beliefs about the rehabilitation process.
Division I athletes (N = 57) completed a survey including measures of social support and beliefs about rehabilitation.
Division I college athletes (35 men, 22 women) who had sustained an injury that caused them to miss no less than 5 consecutive days.
The Social Support Survey (SSS) and the Sports Injury Rehabilitation Beliefs Survey (SIRBS).
Results revealed significant correlations between the SSS and the SIRBS scales only for athletes who had sustained severe injuries. Multiple-regression analyses revealed that the SSS scales were significant predictors of each of the SIRBS scales.
Results suggest that when severely injured athletes perceive that their ATCs provide strong social support, they are more likely to believe in their rehabilitation programs.
Candace M. Hogue, Mary D. Fry, Andrew C. Fry and Sarah D. Pressman
Research in achievement goal perspective theory suggests that the creation of a caring/task-involving (C/TI) climate results in more advantageous psychological and behavioral responses relative to an ego-involving (EI) climate; however, research has not yet examined the physiological consequences associated with psychological stress in relation to climate. Given the possible health and fitness implications of certain physiological stress responses, it is critical to understand this association. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine whether an EI climate procures increases in the stress-responsive hormone cortisol, as well as negative psychological changes, following the learning of a new skill, compared with a C/TI climate. Participants (n = 107) were randomized to a C/TI or an EI climate in which they learned how to juggle for 30 min over the course of 2 hr. Seven salivary cortisol samples were collected during this period. Results indicated that EI participants experienced greater cortisol responses after the juggling session and significantly greater anxiety, stress, shame, and self-consciousness relative to C/TI participants. In contrast, the C/TI participants reported greater enjoyment, effort, self-confidence, and interest and excitement regarding future juggling than the EI participants. These findings indicate that motivational climates may have a significant impact on both the physiological and psychological responses of participants.