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Robert J. Brustad
Youth sport research has failed to address the influential role of socialization agents in shaping children's motivational processes in sport. The purpose of this paper is to encourage the integration of socialization influences, particularly parental behaviors, into the study of children's sport motivation. The impact of socialization influences in shaping those cognitions widely regarded to influence children's sport behavior is examined. Special attention is paid to related research in academic settings that identifies the influence of parental socialization patterns upon children's self-perception characteristics, orientations toward achievement, and patterns of motivated behavior. Recommendations are made for incorporating socialization influences into youth sport research within the framework of cognitive-developmental theory.
Robert J. Brustad
This study was designed to examine potential correlates of positive and negative affect experienced by young athletes during a competitive sport season. An index of both positive affect, season-long enjoyment, and negative affect, competitive trait anxiety (CTA) were included. The study was grounded within Harter's (1978, 1981a) theory of competence motivation. Male and female participants (N=207) in an agency-sponsored youth basketball league completed self-report measures of self-esteem, perceived basketball competence, intrinsic/extrinsic motivational orientation, perceived parental pressure, and frequency of performance and evaluative worries. Team win/loss records and estimates of each player's ability were obtained from the coaches. Multiple regression analyses revealed that for both boys and girls, greater enjoyment was predicted by high intrinsic motivation and low perceived parental pressure. High CTA was predicted for both boys and girls by low self-esteem. These findings are consistent with predictions stemming from competence motivation theory.
Robert J. Brustad
Identifying social and psychological influences affecting children’s attitudes about physical activity is an important step in understanding individual differences in children’s activity involvement. This study examined the influence of parental socialization and children’s psychological characteristics upon attraction to physical activity. Fourth-grade children (N=81) completed questionnaires assessing perceived physical competence and attraction to physical activity. Parents also completed questionnaires assessing their physical activity orientations and level of encouragement of their child’s physical activity. A proposed model linking four sets of social and psychological variables was tested through path analysis. The results generally supported the hypothesized model and suggested that parental physical activity orientations, parental encouragement levels, children’s gender, and children’s perceived physical competence are important influences upon children’s attraction to physical activity.
Robert J. Brustad and Michelle Ritter-Taylor
Psychological processes in sport are inextricably linked to the social contexts within which they occur. However, research and practice in applied sport psychology have shown only marginal concern for the social dimensions of participation. As a consequence of stronger ties to clinical and counseling psychology than to social psychology, the prevailing model of intervention in applied sport psychology has been individually centered. Focus at the individual level has been further bolstered by cognitive emphases in modem psychology. The purpose of this paper is to highlight the need for a balanced consideration of social and personal influences. Four social psychological dimensions of interest will be explored, including athletic subculture membership; athletic identity concerns; social networks of influence; and leadership processes. The relevance of these forms of influence will be examined in relation to applied concerns in the areas of athlete academic performance, overtraining and burnout, and disordered eating patterns. At minimum, consultants need to address contextual and relational correlates of psychological and performance issues.