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Anna Valenzano, Fiorenzo Moscatelli, Antonio Ivano Triggiani, Laura Capranica, Giulia De Ioannon, Maria Francesca Piacentini, Sergio Mignardi, Giovanni Messina, Stefano Villani and Giuseppe Cibelli

Purpose:

To evaluate the effect of a solo ultraendurance open-water swim on autonomic and nonautonomic control of heart rate (HR).

Methods:

A male athlete (age 48 y, height 172 cm, body mass 68 kg, BMI 23 kg/m2) underwent HR-variability (HRV) and circulating catecholamine evaluations at different times before and after an ultraendurance swim crossing the Adriatic Sea from Italy to Albania. HRV was measured in 5-min segments and quantified by time and frequency domain. Circulating catecholamines were estimated by salivary alpha-amylase (sAA) assay.

Results:

The athlete completed 78.1 km in 23:44 h:min. After arrival, sAA levels had increased by 102.6%. Time- and frequency-domain HRV indexes decreased, as well (mean RR interval, −29,7%; standard deviation of normal mean RR interval, −63,1%; square root of mean squared successive differences between normal-to-normal RR intervals, −49.3%; total power, −74.3%; low frequency, −78.0%; high frequency, −76.4%), while HR increased by 41.8%. At 16-h recovery, sAA had returned to preevent values, while a stable tachycardia was accompanied by reduced HRV measures.

Conclusion:

To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study reporting cardiac autonomic adjustments to an extreme and challenging ultraendurance open-water swim. The findings confirmed that the autonomic drives depend on exercise efforts. Since HRV changes did not mirror the catecholamine response 16 h postevent, the authors assume that the ultraendurance swim differently influenced cardiac function by both adaptive autonomic and nonautonomic patterns.

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Helen M. Milne, Karen E. Wallman, Andrew Guilfoyle, Sandy Gordon and Kerry S. Courneya

The study aim was to examine constructs of autonomy support and competence as well as the motivation continuum from the self-determination theory (SDT) as a framework for understanding physical activity (PA) motivation and behavior in breast cancer survivors. Questionnaires assessing demographics, medical factors, PA, motivation continuum, perceived autonomy support, and competence were completed by 558 breast cancer survivors. Results showed that lymphedema (X2 = 7.9, p < .01) and income (X2 = 4.6, p < .05) were associated with meeting PA guidelines. Moreover, survivors meeting PA guidelines reported more identified regulations and intrinsic motivation (p < .01), autonomy support (p < .01), and competence (p < .01). Forced entry hierarchical regression analysis showed that SDT constructs explained 20.2% (p < .01) of the PA variance. Significant independent SDT predictors included identified regulation (ß = .14, p < .05) and competence (ß = .23, p < .01), with autonomy support approaching significance (ß = .9, p = .057). SDT may be a useful model for understanding PA motivation and behavior in breast cancer survivors.

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Wendy M. Rodgers, Camilla J. Knight, Anne-Marie Selzler, Ian L. Reade and Gregory F. Ryan

The purposes of this study were to, (a) assess motivational experiences of performance enhancement tasks (PET) and administrative tasks (AT), and; (b) examine the relationships of emergent motivational experiences of each task type to coaches’ perceived stress and intentions to continue coaching. In total, 572 coaches completed an online survey, which assessed autonomy, competence, relatedness, and other characteristics of PET and AT, intentions to continue coaching, and perceived stress. Two separate exploratory factor analyses (EFA) were conducted, one for AT and one for PET. This was followed up with confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and SEM to examine relationships between emerging factors and stress and intentions. The factors generated for PET reflected ideas of autonomy, time conflict, and satisfaction, and for AT also included competence, effort, and job requirements. The resulting experiences of AT and PET appear to have different influences on stress and intentions, suggesting their distinction will be important in future work examining coach retention.

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Cindy Rutten, Filip Boen and Jan Seghers

Based on self-determination theory, the purpose of this study was to explore the mediating role of autonomous motivation in the relation between environmental factors and pedometer-determined PA among 10- to 12-year-old Flemish children. Data were collected from 787 6th grade pupils and one of their parents. Children completed self-report measures including autonomous motivation for PA and perceived autonomy support for PA by parents and friends. Parents completed a questionnaire concerning their PA related parenting practices (logistic support and explicit modeling) and the perceived home environment with respect to PA opportunities. The results confirmed that autonomous motivation mediated the relation between children’s PA and their perceived autonomy support by friends and parents. Autonomous motivation also mediated the relation between parental logistic support and PA. In addition, a positive direct relation was found between parental explicit modeling and children’s PA, and between perceived neighborhood safety and children’s PA.

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Dana Perlman

The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of an intervention grounded in Self-Determination Theory on preservice teachers’ instructional behaviors and the motivational responses of their students. A total of 62 preservice physical education teachers enrolled in a secondary physical education content and methods course were randomly assigned to either a treatment (n = 31) or a control group (n = 31). The study employed a pretest/posttest design and data were collected through: (a) observation of preservice teachers’ instruction, (b) a survey measuring preservice teachers’ perceptions of their autonomy support, and (c) a survey measuring secondary students’ motivation. Data analysis used repeated-measures ANOVAs to examine differences between the groups. Results indicated significant changes in autonomy-support for both teachers and students exposed to the intervention.

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Bartolomé J. Almagro, Pedro Sáenz-López, Juan A. Moreno-Murcia and Chris Spray

This study qualitatively examined how athletes perceive their coach’s support for autonomy, as well as athletes’ motivation, satisfaction of basic psychological needs, and the 2 × 2 achievement goal framework of young Spanish athletes. Fifteen Spanish athletes (six females and nine males) between 13 and 16 years of age were interviewed from various sporting contexts. Content analysis of the interviews revealed: the coexistence of various types of motivation for the practice of these sports by the athletes that were interviewed; the presence of integrated regulation among some of these young athletes; the importance of autonomy support and the satisfaction of basic psychological needs for motivation and athletic commitment. The results are discussed on the basis of self-determination and achievement goal theory. Strategies are proposed for improving motivation and adherence to athletic practice in young athletes.

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Thomas Curran, Andrew P. Hill, Nikos Ntoumanis, Howard K. Hall and Gareth E. Jowett

Research adopting self-determination theory (SDT) supports a mediation model whereby coach motivational styles (autonomy support and interpersonal control) predict athletes’ engagement and disaffection in youth sport via the satisfaction and frustration of psychological needs (autonomy, competence, and relatedness). Our study extends this research by examining SDT’s mediation model longitudinally with three waves of data. Two hundred fifty-two youth sports participants (M age = 12.98; SD = 1.84; range = 11–17; female n = 67) completed measures of study variables at the start, middle, and end of a competitive soccer season. Cross-lagged path analyses revealed that associations between the two coach motivational styles and athletes’ engagement were mediated by psychological need satisfaction. Furthermore, a positive reciprocal association between psychological need satisfaction and engagement emerged over time. This study therefore supports the temporal assumptions underpinning SDT’s mediation model but, importantly, evidences a mutually reinforcing interplay between athletes’ psychological needs and their engaged behavior.

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Ken Hodge and Daniel F. Gucciardi

The purpose of this investigation was to examine whether the relationships between contextual factors and basic psychological needs were related to antisocial and prosocial behavior in sport. A two-study project employing Bayesian path analysis was conducted with competitive athletes (Study 1, n = 291; Study 2, n = 272). Coach and teammate autonomy-supportive climates had meaningful direct relations with need satisfaction and prosocial behavior. Coach and teammate controlling climates had meaningful direct relations with antisocial behavior. Need satisfaction was both directly and indirectly related with both prosocial and antisocial behavior, whereas moral disengagement was directly and indirectly related with antisocial behavior. Overall, these findings reflected substantial evidence from the literature on self-determination theory that autonomy-supportive motivational climates are important environmental influences for need satisfaction, and are important correlates of prosocial behavior in sport, whereas controlling coach and teammate climates, along with moral disengagement, were important correlates of antisocial behavior in sport.

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Andreas Stenling and Susanne Tafvelin

Leadership development programs are common in sports, but seldom evaluated; hence, we have limited knowledge about what the participants actually learn and the impact these programs have on sports clubs’ daily operations. The purpose of the current study was to integrate a transfer of training model with self-determination theory to understand predictors of learning and training transfer, following a leadership development program among organizational leaders in Swedish sports clubs. Bayesian multilevel path analysis showed that autonomous motivation and an autonomy-supportive implementation of the program positively predicted near transfer (i.e., immediately after the training program) and that perceiving an autonomy-supportive climate in the sports club positively predicted far transfer (i.e., 1 year after the training program). This study extends previous research by integrating a transfer of training model with self-determination theory and identified important motivational factors that predict near and far training transfer.

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Alison Smith, Nikos Ntoumanis and Joan Duda

Grounded in self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 1985) and the self-concordance model (Sheldon & Elliot, 1999), this study examined the motivational processes underlying goal striving in sport as well as the role of perceived coach autonomy support in the goal process. Structural equation modeling with a sample of 210 British athletes showed that autonomous goal motives positively predicted effort, which, in turn, predicted goal attainment. Goal attainment was positively linked to need satisfaction, which, in turn, predicted psychological well-being. Effort and need satisfaction were found to mediate the associations between autonomous motives and goal attainment and between attainment and well-being, respectively. Controlled motives negatively predicted well-being, and coach autonomy support positively predicted both autonomous motives and need satisfaction. Associations of autonomous motives with effort were not reducible to goal difficulty, goal specificity, or goal efficacy. These findings support the self-concordance model as a framework for further research on goal setting in sport.