This paper discusses the benefits of using theory-driven research in sport and exercise psychology using individuals with physical disabilities. The cognitively oriented theories of transactional stress and emotion (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984), attributional theory (Weiner, 1985), and theory of planned behavior (Ajzen, 1985) are outlined. Relevant research with individuals with physical disabilities is examined. The paper addresses how integrating these three theories with research with this population can stimulate research ideas, improve the generality of theories used in sport and exercise psychology, and provide meaningful knowledge about their experiences.
Peter R.E. Crocker
Peter R.E. Crocker and Thomas R. Graham
This study evaluated patterns of coping, relationships between coping and negative and positive affect, and gender differences in coping and affect in competitive athletes. A sample of 235 female and male athletes reported recent stressful performance situations and indicated appraisals related to performance goals, coping, and affective responses. Lack of goal attainment (goal incongruence) was used as a measure of stress. Group means for coping indicated that athletes primarily used strategies such as increasing effort, planning, suppressing competing activities, active coping, and self-blame. Females used higher levels of seeking social support for emotional reasons and increasing effort to manage goal frustration. Males experienced higher levels of positive affect. For positive affect, regression analysis found a significant five-variable solution (R 2 = .31). For negative affect, there was also a significant five-variable solution (R 2 = .38). The gender differences were not congruent with views that males would use higher levels of problem-focused coping.
Peter R.E. Crocker and David R. Leclerc
This study investigated Griffin and Keogh's movement confidence model. This model holds that movement confidence is determined by the joint influence of perception of ability, the potential for enjoying moving, and the potential for harm. Undergraduate students, 20 males and 20 females, attempted three modified back dives. Before each dive, subjects completed measures on perceived diving confidence, perceived diving ability, potential for enjoying the dive, and potential for harm. Scale internal consistency ranged from «=.62 to «=.85. Regression analyses found a three-term model was a significant predictor of movement confidence (R2s=.54, .67, .71, for Dives 1, 2, and 3, respectively). However, hierarchical regression analyses indicated only potential for physical harm made a significant, unique contribution. The data highlight the importance of perceived movement sensations in influencing the appraisal of movement confidence.
Peter R.E. Crocker and Marcel Bouffard
The purpose of this investigation was to determine the relationship between cognitive appraisal and self-reported affect during challenging physical activity by 55 adults (16 females, 39 males) with physical disabilities. Eleven cognitive appraisals related to perceived challenge in physical activity plus positive and negative affect experienced in a recent challenging physical activity were assessed in an interview. The data indicated that perceived challenge was characterized by higher levels of positive affect (M=4.03, SD=.71) compared to negative affect (M=1.54, SD=.61). Correlational analyses revealed that the appraisals of fitness and health, learning skills, demonstrating competence, effort, social approval, task value, and external control were all significantly related to positive affect. A regression analysis for positive affect revealed that a two-term equation using task value and social approval could account for 39% of the variance. No appraisals were significantly related to negative affect.
Kent C. Kowalski and Peter R.E. Crocker
Two studies reported the development and validation of the Coping Function Questionnaire (CFQ) for adolescent sport participants. The purpose of the first study was to develop the CFQ and conduct preliminary item and scale analyses. The result was an 18-item CFQ, which assessed problem-focused, emotion-focused, and avoidance coping function. In the second study, confirmatory factor analysis with data from 344 male and 339 female adolescent sport participants showed the CFQ measurement model to be acceptable for both genders. Simultaneous group analysis demonstrated gender invariance for the CFQ measurement model. Convergent and divergent validity was supported by correlations between the CFQ and select coping scales from the COPE, the sport-modified COPE, and Life Situations Inventory. The CFQ appears to be a promising step toward measurement of coping function in adolescent sport samples.
Katherine A. Tamminen and Peter R.E. Crocker
This paper is a critical commentary on the article “Adaptation Processes Affecting Performance in Elite Sport” (Schinke, Battochio, Lidor, Tenenbaum, Dube, & Lane, 2012). We review relevant literature and highlight theoretical and conceptual concerns regarding Schinke et al.’s model, particularly regarding their characterization of adaptation as a process versus an outcome, and the role of appraisals, emotions, emotional regulation, coping, and Fiske’s (2004) core motives within their model of adaptation. Adaptation or adjustment among elite athletes is a valuable area of research in sport psychology; however, Schinke et al.’s model oversimplifies the adaptation process and has limited utility among sport psychology researchers and practitioners.
Meghan H. McDonough and Peter R.E. Crocker
Self-determination theory suggests that when psychological needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness are met, participants experience more self-determined types of motivation and more positive outcomes. Limited research has examined this mediational role of self-determined motivation in adult physical activity participants, and very few studies have included assessments of relatedness. This study tested the hypothesis that self-determined motivation would mediate the relationship between psychological need fulfilment and affective and behavioral outcomes. Adult dragon boaters (N = 558) between the ages of 19 and 83 completed a questionnaire on motivational aspects of dragon boating. Competence, relatedness, and autonomy all significantly predicted self-determined motivation, but self-determined motivation only partially mediated their relationship with positive and negative affect. These findings demonstrate the importance of all three needs in adult activity motivation and suggest that the relationships between needs, self-determination, and outcomes may be complex.
Catherine M. Sabiston and Peter R.E. Crocker
This study examined adolescent leisure-time physical activity correlates using the expectancy-value (EV) model. Adolescents (N = 857) completed questionnaires to assess competence and value self-perceptions, social influences, and physical activity. Direct and indirect effects of self-perceptions and parent and best friend influences on physical activity were explored using structural equation modeling. Measurement models were a good ft to the data and gender invariance was supported. The structural mediation model was a reasonable ft to the data, whereby the indirect effects of parents and peers and the direct effects of competence beliefs and values together accounted for 49% of the variance in physical activity. In this model, the pattern of relationships was similar for adolescent males and females. Findings supporting the EV model provide theoretical and practical implications for understanding adolescent physical activity.