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Tara K. Scanlan and Rebecca Lewthwaite

This field study examined predictors of generalized and specific performance expectancies for 76 male wrestlers, ages 9 to 14 years, who participated in the first two rounds of a competitive wrestling tournament. Generalized expectancies were defined as the participants' overall expectancies for successful performance. Specific expectancies were operationalized by asking wrestlers to indicate how sure they were about winning each of their first two tournament matches. High generalized expectancies were predicted by high self-esteem, greater outcome success in the preceding tournament, and boys' perceptions of (a) greater parental and coach satisfaction with their season's performance and (b) a lack of noncontingent performance reactions by their parents. Then high generalized expectancies, along with high perceived wrestling ability and perceptions of greater adult satisfaction with the season's performance, predicted high specific expectancies for the first tournament round. High specific expectancies for the second round were predicted by high generalized expectancies and high perceived wrestling ability. The findings are discussed in terms of their implications for a nomological network of wrestlers' specific performance expectancies.

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Tara K. Scanlan and Rebecca Lewthwaite

This field study examined predictors of the sport enjoyment experienced by 76 male wrestlers, ages 9 to 14 years, who participated in the first two rounds of a competitive wrestling tournament. Enjoyment was operationalized as the amount of fun the boys had experienced during the wrestling season and the degree to which they liked to wrestle, Intrapersonal variables, including the participants' age and perceptions of their wrestling ability, were investigated as predictors of their sport enjoyment. Significant adult influences, including the boys' perceptions of typical parental and coach behaviors and responses to them in the sport setting, were also examined in relation to enjoyment. A stepwise multiple regression analysis indicated that younger boys, and those who perceived greater wrestling ability, enjoyed their sport participation more than did older boys and those with perceptions of lower ability, Boys who perceived (a) greater parental and coach satisfaction with their season's performance, (b) less maternal pressure and fewer negative maternal performance reactions, and (c) more positive adult sport involvement and interactions (p < .10) experienced greater enjoyment when compared with their counterparts. Together, these predictors accounted for 38% of the variation in wrestlers' enjoyment.

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Tara K. Scanlan and Rebecca Lewthwaite

This field study investigated the influence and stability of individual difference and situational factors on the competitive stress experienced by 9- to 14-year-old wrestlers. Stress was assessed by the children's form of the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory and was measured immediately before and after each of two consecutive tournament matches. Wrestlers' dispositions, characteristic precompetition cognitions, perceptions of significant adult influences, psychological states, self-perceptions, and competitive outcomes were examined as predictors of pre- and postmatch anxiety in separate multiple regression analyses for each tournament round. The most influential and stable predictors of prematch stress for both matches were competitive trait anxiety and personal performance expectancies, while win-loss and fun experienced during the match predicted postmatch stress for both rounds. In addition, prematch worries about failure and perceived parental pressure to participate were predictive of round 1 prematch stress. Round 1 postmatch stress levels predicted stress after round 2, suggesting some consistency in children's stress responses. In total, 61 and 35% of prematch and 41 and 32% of postmatch state anxiety variance was explained for rounds 1 and 2, respectively.

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Gary L. Stein and Tara K. Scanlan

The present study examined a conceptual framework developed to organize and explain an athlete’s sources of enjoyment. The framework consisted of two potential underlying mechanisms: goal attainment and non-goal occurrences. Goal attainment are experiences that athletes set, strive for, and achieve. Athletes have two functionally related goal levels, labeled universal and general, which form a goal hierarchy. Non-goal occurrences are environmental events that take place but are not a priori set as goals. Participants were 13- to 16-year-old high school and park league baseball and basketball players who answered a single postseason questionnaire. Stepwise regression analyses indicated partial framework support. General goal attainment predicted both universal goal attainment and seasonal enjoyment, universal goal attainment failed to predict seasonal enjoyment, and non-goal occurrences showed no relationship to either universal goal attainment or seasonal enjoyment.

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Tara K. Scanlan and MichaeI W. Passer

This field study examined the intrapersonal and situational factors related to the stress experienced by 10- to 12-year-old girls participating in competitive youth soccer. Factors potentially related to competitive stress were assessed at preseason, midseason, pregame, and postgame periods. Competitive stress, measured by the Spielberger State Anxiety Inventory for Children, was assessed 30 min. prior to and immediately following a competitive game. Results indicated that higher pregame stress was related to high competitive trait anxiety and basal state anxiety as well as low self-esteem and team performance expectancies. The situational factor of game outcome (win, tie, loss) was the predominant variable associated with stress exhibited after the game, with losers evidencing the highest and winners the lowest postgame stress. The most important intrapersonal factor related to postgame stress was the amount of fun experienced during the game. The findings were quite similar to previous field research with young male soccer players, indicating that both sexes seem to share common sources of stress.

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Tara K. Scanlan and Michael W. Passer

Identification of factors influencing expectancies of successful performance in competitive youth sports is important to understanding the way in which children perceive and respond to this evaluative achievement situation. Therefore, in this field study involving 10- to 12-year-old female soccer players, intrapersonal factors affecting players' pregame personal performance expectancies were first identified. Soccer ability and self-esteem were found to be related to personal performance expectancies, but competitive trait anxiety was not Second, the impact of game outcome, the previously mentioned intrapersonal variables, and the interaction of game outcome and intrapersonal variables was examined by determining players' postgame team expectancies in a hypothetical rematch with the same opponent. The postgame findings showed that winning players evidenced higher team expectancies than tying and losing players. Moreover, the expectancies of tying players were low and, in fact, similar to those of losers. The results of this study successfully replicated and extended previous findings with young male athletes.

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Tara K. Scanlan and Michael W. Passer

The purpose of this field study was to examine the effects of game win-loss and margin of victory or defeat on postgame attributions. Male competitive soccer players (N= 160) were asked to attribute causality for their teams' win or loss and for their individual performance during the game to the internal factors of ability and effort and to the external factors of opponent difficulty and luck. It was proposed that, in sport, self-esteem protecting biases could be constrained by the emphasis placed on internal causal determinants of performance, and by situational norms which limit the acceptability of external attributions. In accordance with these contentions, the findings showed that although winning players attributed greater causality to internal factors than did losers, losing players still assessed internal attributes to be the most important determinants of game outcome and personal performance. Further, losers were not more external in their causal ascriptions than winners. The margin of victory or defeat did not affect players' causal attributions or their judgments of how much ability, effort, difficulty with the opponent, and luck they personally had in the game. The margin of outcome did impact players' judgments regarding how much of these attributes their team had demonstrated during the game.

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Paul J. Carpenter and Tara K. Scanlan

The purpose of this study was to examine whether changes over time in the determinants of sport commitment would be related to predicted changes in commitment. Male and female (N = 103) high school soccer players completed surveys toward the middle and at the end of their regular season. A simultaneous multiple regression analysis indicated that commitment was significantly predicted by changes in involvement opportunities. Examination of the mean magnitude of changes in the determinants and corresponding changes in commitment using a series of correlated t-tests revealed significant effects for sport enjoyment and involvement opportunities. For those players whose sport enjoyment and involvement opportunities had declined, there was a corresponding decrease in their commitment. For those players whose involvement opportunities had increased, there was a corresponding increase in their commitment. Combined, these results provided support for a priori hypotheses regarding changes in the determinants of commitment over time and corresponding changes in commitment.

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Tara K. Scanlan, Rebecca Lewthwaite and Bruce L. Jackson

This field study investigated sport-related and psychological predictors of children&#x0027;s performance outcomes (win-loss) across two consecutive rounds of a competitive wrestling tournament. The 76 wrestlers studied were 9- to 14-year-old boys, and the sport-related variable examined involved their years of competitive wrestling experience. The psychological predictors investigated were the participants&#x0027; prematch performance expectancies and their characteristic prematch cognitions including: (a) worries about failure and (b) concerns about the performance expectations and evaluative reactions of their parents and coach. The data for each round were separately analyzed by logistic regression analysis. The most influential and stable predictors of performance outcomes across both tournament rounds were competitive experience and prematch performance expectancies. In addition, characteristic failure cognitions significantly predicted win-loss in the first round of the tournament. In total, win-loss was successfully predicted in 78 and 80% of the cases for round 1 and 2, respectively, by these predictors.

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Tara K. Scanlan, Gary L. Stein and Kenneth Ravizza

This study examined the sources of stress in elite figure skaters. Twenty-six former national-championship competitors were interviewed to identify their stressors during the most competitive phase of their athletic careers. The interviews consisted of open-ended and follow-up questions that provided an in-depth understanding of the athletes' sources of stress. Inductive content-analysis procedures established stress categories derived from the athletes' perspective. Five major sources of stress emerged from the data—negative aspects of competition, negative significant-other relationships, demands or costs of skating, personal straggles, and traumatic experiences. The results demonstrate that (a) elite athletes experience stress from both competition and noncompetition sources, (b) individual differences exist among elite athletes' sources of stress, and (c) elite and youth sport athletes have similar competition-related stressors.