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Frank L. Smoll, Ronald E. Smith and Sean P. Cumming

Mastery-oriented motivational climates and achievement goal orientations have been associated with a range of salutary and clinically relevant outcomes in both educational and sport research. In view of this, an intervention was developed for youth sport coaches designed to promote a mastery motivational climate, and a field experiment was conducted to assess its effects on changes in athletes’ achievement goal orientations over the course of a sport season. The experimental group was comprised of 155 boys and girls, who played for 20 basketball coaches; 70 youngsters played for 17 control group coaches. The coach intervention resulted in higher Mastery-climate scores and lower Ego-climate scores compared with the control condition, and athletes who played for the trained coaches exhibited significant increases in Mastery goal orientation scores and significant decreases in Ego-orientation scores across the season, whereas control group participants did not. Practical and theoretical implications of the findings are discussed.

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Ronald E. Smith, Sean P. Cumming and Frank L. Smoll

Results of several recent studies have called into question the factorial integrity of the Sport Anxiety Scale (SAS; Smith, Smoll, & Schutz, 1990) because two items (14 and 20) that loaded on the Concentration Disruption subscale in our validation and cross-validation samples have loaded or cross-loaded on the Worry subscale in other samples. We agree that this is a serious problem, and we evaluate proposed modifications of the SAS on both conceptual and empirical grounds. For researchers currently using the SAS, we recommend a new scoring system that deletes two troublesome Concentration Disruption items and one Somatic Anxiety item, preserving separate and factorially consistent Somatic, Worry, and Concentration Disruption subscales. We present evidence that our original Worry scale provides a better CFA fit than a suggested “cognitive anxiety” alternative that combines the two concentration disruption items with the Worry scale items. We also describe nonreplication of the SAS three-factor structure in child samples and caution researchers against computing subscale scores for child samples.

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Sean P. Cumming, Ronald E. Smith and Frank L. Smoll

For more than two decades, the behavioral categories of the Leadership Scale for Sports (LSS) and the Coaching Behavior Assessment System (CBAS) have been used by a wide range of researchers to measure coaching behaviors, yet little is known about how the behavioral categories in the two models relate statistically to one another. Male and female athletes on 63 high school teams (N = 645) completed the LSS and the athlete-perception version of the CBAS (CBAS-PBS) following the sport season, and they evaluated their coaches. Several of Chelladurai’s (1993) hypotheses regarding relations among behavioral categories of the two models were strongly supported. However, many significant and overlapping correlations between LSS subscales and CBAS-PBS behavioral categories cast doubt upon the specificity of relations between the two instruments. The LSS and the CBAS-PBS accounted for similar and notable amounts of variance in athletes’ liking for their coach and evaluations of their knowledge and teaching ability.

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Ronald E. Smith, Frank L. Smoll and Sean P. Cumming

The mastery approach to coaching is a cognitive-behavioral intervention designed to promote a mastery-involving motivational climate, shown in previous research to be related to lower anxiety in athletes. We tested the effects of this intervention on motivational climate and on changes in male and female athletes’ cognitive and somatic performance anxiety over the course of a basketball season. Hierarchical linear modeling analyses revealed that the athletes in the intervention condition perceived their coaches as being more mastery-involving on the Motivational Climate Scale for Youth Sports when compared to athletes in an untreated control condition. Relative to athletes who played for untrained coaches, those who played for the trained coaches exhibited decreases on all subscales of the Sport Anxiety Scale-2 and on total anxiety score from preseason to late season. Control group athletes reported increases in anxiety over the season. The intervention had equally positive effects on boys and girls teams.

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Ronald E. Smith, Frank L. Smoll, Sean P. Cumming and Joel R. Grossbard

This article describes the development and validation of the Sport Anxiety Scale-2 (SAS-2), a multidimensional measure of cognitive and somatic trait anxiety in sport performance settings. Scale development was stimulated by findings that the 3-factor structure of the original Sport Anxiety Scale (SAS; Smith, Smoll, & Schutz, 1990) could not be reproduced in child samples and that several items on the scale produced conflicting factor loadings in adult samples. Alternative items having readability levels of grade 4 or below were therefore written to create a new version suitable for both children and adults. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses replicated the original SAS factor structure at all age levels, yielding separate 5-item subscales for Somatic Anxiety, Worry, and Concentration Disruption in samples as young as 9 to 10 years of age. The SAS-2 has stronger factorial validity than the original scale did, and construct validity research indicates that scores relate to other psychological measures as expected. The scale reliably predicts precompetition state anxiety scores and proved sensitive to anxiety-reduction interventions directed at youth sport coaches and parents.

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Martyn Standage, Hannah J. Wilkie, Russell Jago, Charlie Foster, Mary A. Goad and Sean P. Cumming

Background:

The Active Healthy Kids 2014 England Report Card aims to provide a systematic assessment of how England is performing in relation to engaging and facilitating physical activity (PA) in children and young people.

Methods:

The systematic methods and processes that underpin the Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card were used and adapted. Data and evidence were consolidated, reviewed by a panel of content experts, and used to inform the assignment of letter grades (A, B, C, D, F) to 9 core indicators related to PA.

Results:

Children’s Overall Physical Activity received a grade of C/D. Active Transportation and Organized Sport Participation received grades of C and C-, respectively. The indicators of School and Community and the Built Environment were graded favorable with grades of A- and B, respectively. Active Play, Sedentary Behaviors, Family and Peers, and Government Strategies and Investments were graded as INC (incomplete) due to a lack of nationally representative data and/or as a result of data not mapping onto the benchmarks used to assign the grades.

Conclusions:

Substantial provision for PA opportunities in England exists. Yet more effort is required to maximize use of these resources to increase PA participation.

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Gillian K. Myburgh, Sean P. Cumming, Manuel Coelho E. Silva, Karl Cooke and Robert M. Malina

Purpose:

To evaluate relationships among skeletal maturity, body size, and functional capacities of elite junior tennis players.

Methods:

Participants were 88 elite British Junior tennis players (44 male; 44 female), 8–16 years of age (12.4 } 1.9 years). Skeletal age estimated maturty. Anthropometry, grip strength, countermovement jump, squat jump, forehand agility, backhand agility, Yo-Yo, 5-m, 10-m and 20-m sprints were measured. Comparative analysis for each sex was performed, relating advanced maturers (Male: 15; Female: 29) to a combination of on-time and late maturers (Male: 29; Female: 31). ANCOVAs were used to determine absolute differences between male and female players and between the 2 maturity subgroups, with chronological age as the covariate.

Results:

Advanced maturity afforded male players advantages in absolute measures of grip strength, speed, upper and lower body power but not in acceleration, agility or aerobic endurance. Male players were significantly taller than females in the U13-U16 age group. Advanced maturity in female players afforded advantages in absolute measures of grip strength, agility and overhead power, but not in backhand agility, aerobic endurance or squat jump power.

Conclusion:

It is important that talent identification protocols consider the maturity of youth athletes to more satisfactorily address athletic potential rather than transient physical capabilities.

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Robert M. Malina, Sean P. Cumming and Manuel J. Coelho e Silva

“Gaps in Our Knowledge” are discussed in the context of the need to integrate biological and behavioral factors in a biocultural approach to physical activity and movement proficiency. Specific issues considered include outdoor play, organized and informal activity, biological maturation, tracking of activity, development of movement proficiency, and individual differences. Studies considered are largely based on youth in economically better-off, developed countries in the western culture context. There is a need to extend studies of physical activity and movement proficiency to different cultural contexts.

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António J. Figueiredo, Manuel J. Coelho e Silva, Sean P. Cumming and Robert M. Malina

The purpose of the study was to compare the anthropometric, functional and sport-specific skill characteristics and goal orientations of male youth soccer players at the extremes of height and skeletal maturity in two competitive age groups, 11–12 and 13–14 years. The shortest and tallest players, and least and most skeletally mature players (n = 8 per group) within each age group were compared on chronological age; skeletal age (Fels method); pubertal status (pubic hair); size, proportions and adiposity; four functional capacities; four soccer-specific skills; and task and ego orientation. The tallest players were older chronologically, advanced in maturity (skeletal, pubertal) and heavier, and had relatively longer legs than the shortest players in each age group. At 11–12 years, the most mature players were chronologically younger but advanced in pubertal status, taller and heavier with more adiposity. At 13–14 years, the most mature players were taller, heavier and advanced in pubertal status but did not differ in chronological age compared with the least mature players. Players at the extremes of height and skeletal maturity differed in speed and power (tallest > shortest; most mature > lest mature), but did not differ consistently in aerobic endurance and in soccer-specific skills. Results suggested that size and strength discrepancies among youth players were not a major advantage or disadvantage to performance. By inference, coaches and sport administrators may need to provide opportunities for or perhaps protect smaller, skilled players during the adolescent years.

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Joan E. Hunter Smart, Sean P. Cumming, Lauren B. Sherar, Martyn Standage, Helen Neville and Robert M. Malina

Background:

This study tested a mediated effects model of psychological and behavioral adaptation to puberty within the context of physical activity (PA).

Methods:

Biological maturity status, physical self-concept, PA, and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) were assessed in 222 female British year 7 to 9 pupils (mean age = 12.7 years, SD = .8).

Results:

Structural equation modeling using maximum likelihood estimation and bootstrapping procedures supported the hypothesized model. Maturation status was inversely related to perceptions of sport competence, body attractiveness, and physical condition; and indirectly and inversely related to physical self-worth, PA, and HRQoL. Examination of the bootstrap-generated bias-corrected confidence intervals representing the direct and indirect paths between suggested that physical self-concept partially mediated the relations between maturity status and PA, and maturity status and HRQoL.

Conclusions:

Evidence supports the contention that perceptions of the physical self partially mediate relations maturity, PA, and HRQoL in adolescent females.