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A Buffering Effect of Mental Toughness on the Negative Impact of Basic Psychological Need Thwarting on Positive Youth Athlete Functioning

Keita Kinoshita, Eric MacIntosh, and Shintaro Sato

Basic psychological needs (BPN) are a construct that helps clarify the psychological mechanism to reach desirable outcomes for youth athletes. When BPN are undermined, people should be less likely to thrive. As mental toughness (MT) can reduce the negative effects of stressors, MT may buffer the negative effects of maladaptive motivation. This study investigated the mediating role of thriving on the relationships between BPN thwarting and important outcomes for youth athletes’ positive functioning. It also examined the buffering effects of MT. One hundred eighty-eight Canadian youth athletes (M age = 15.51) answered an online survey. The results demonstrated that thriving was a significant mediator, and the indirect relationships were moderated by MT. The indirect associations were nonsignificant for youth with high MT. The findings demonstrated that MT might decrease the negative impacts of BPN thwarting on thriving and important outcomes for young athletes.

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Consumers’ Comparative Evaluative Judgment of Athlete Endorsers

Shintaro Sato, Yong Jae Ko, Kyriaki (Kiki) Kaplanidou, and Daniel P. Connaughton

The purpose of this study was to examine consumers’ comparative judgment of athlete endorsers in back-toback advertisement settings. Drawing on the inclusion/exclusion model (Schwarz & Bless, 2007), the authors argue that (a) a recently observed athlete endorser impacts consumer judgment of subsequently presented endorsers, and (b) the valence of the impact depends on brand category membership of the consecutively presented endorsers. A 2 (representative endorser activation: present vs. absent) × 2 (brand category membership: membership vs. nonmembership) between-subjects design was administered across three experiments. Results demonstrated that the presence of a representative endorser increased a subsequently presented endorser’s perceived expertise when that subsequent endorser represented the same brand category. Results also demonstrated that the presence of a representative endorser decreased a subsequently presented endorser’s perceived expertise when that subsequent endorser did not represent the same brand category. Overall, these findings support both assimilation and contrast effects. The authors argue how this outcome can assist advertising managers to strategically position appropriate endorsers in marketing platforms.