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Jennifer Brunet, Katie E. Gunnell, Pedro Teixeira, Catherine M. Sabiston and Mathieu Bélanger

The objectives of this study were to examine whether (a) measures designed to assess satisfaction of competence, autonomy, and relatedness needs in physical activity contexts can represent both general and specific needs satisfaction and (b) the specific needs are associated with concurrent moderate-to-vigorous-intensity physical activity (MVPA) participation (Time 1) and MVPA participation 4 months later (Time 2), beyond general psychological need satisfaction (PNS). Data from 544 adolescents (M age = 14.1 years, SD = 0.6) were analyzed. A bifactor model specifying four factors (i.e., one general PNS and three specific needs) provided a good fit to the data. Extending the model to predict Time 1 and Time 2 MVPA participation also provided a good fit to the data. General PNS and specific needs had unique and empirically distinguishable associations with MVPA participation. The bifactor operationalization of PNS provides a framework to delineate common and distinctive antecedents and outcomes of general PNS and specific needs.

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Stacy Winter and David J. Collins

Although the field of applied sport psychology has developed, it faces further challenges on its way toward gaining greater professional status. The following principal criteria of professionalism are proposed as a test of such status: (a) provides an important public service, (b) has a knowledge-base underpinning, (c) has organizational regulation, (d) has a distinct ethical dimension, and (e) has professional autonomy. This article undertakes to explore the nature of implications for practice and the extent to which the suggested principal criteria justify a distinctive applied sport psychology profession. In doing so, we hope to stimulate debate on these and other issues in order that an even greater professionalization of our applied discipline may emerge.

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Derwin King-Chung Chan and Martin S. Hagger

The present study investigated the transcontextual process of motivation in sport injury prevention. We examined whether general causality orientation, perceived autonomy support from coaches (PAS), self-determined motivation (SD-Mtv), and basic need satisfaction in a sport context predicted SD-Mtv, beliefs, and adherence with respect to sport injury prevention. Elite athletes (N = 533) completed self-report measures of the predictors (Week 1) and the dependent variables (Week 2). Variance-based structural equation modeling supported hypotheses: SD-Mtv in a sport context was significantly predicted by PAS and basic need satisfaction and was positively associated with SD-Mtv for sport injury prevention when controlling for general causality orientation. SD-Mtv for sport injury prevention was a significant predictor of adherence to injury-preventive behaviors and beliefs regarding safety in sport. In conclusion, the transcontextual mechanism of motivation may explain the process by which distal motivational factors in sport direct the formation of proximal motivation, beliefs, and behaviors of sport injury prevention.

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Fabienne d’Arripe-Longueville, Jean F. Fournier and Alice Dubois

Coaches’ and athletes’ perceptions regarding their effective interactions and the underlying factors and reasons for effectiveness of these interactions were examined. An in-depth interview process was conducted with three expert judo coaches and six elite athletes. Qualitative data analyses revealed that the interaction style of the coaches was authoritative and was put into operation using the following six strategies: stimulating interpersonal rivalry, provoking athletes verbally, displaying indifference, entering into direct conflict, developing specific team cohesion, and showing preferences. Perceived autonomy, the main interaction style of athletes, was expressed by the following five strategies: showing diplomacy, achieving exceptional performance, soliciting coaches directly, diversifying information sources, and bypassing conventional rules. Results demonstrated the compatibility of particular interactions between coaches’ and athletes’ strategies. Theoretical models from industrial/organizational psychology are used to interpret these results, which differ from conventional findings in the sport psychology literature.

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Amanda Martindale and Dave Collins

The field of applied sport psychology has recognized the growing consensus that professional autonomy and discretion brings with it the need to train, regulate, and evaluate practice (Evetts, 2001). However, research into how practitioners’ professional judgment is formed and the decision-making processes involved has not received concurrent attention. This paper illustrates some of the possible outcomes and implications for applied sport psychologists from consideration of Professional Judgment and Decision Making (PJDM) research in other fields such as medicine and teaching and in parallel disciplines such as clinical and counseling psychology. Investigation into the nature of decision content and how the crucial “intention for impact” (Hill, 1992) is formulated carries implications for the assessment, reflective practice, and professional development and training of applied sport psychologists. Future directions in PJDM research are suggested and a call is made for practitioners to be open to involvement in research of this nature.

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Ken R. Lodewyk and Colin M. Pybus

Several studies have reported declining student enrolment rates in optional physical education. This study—incorporating constructs from social cognitive, self-determination, and body image theory—investigated factors that might be influential to this trend. Surveys were administered to 227 tenth-grade students from five schools in one school district of Ontario, Canada. MANOVA results revealed a significant main effect difference in variables by gender and enrollment group but not by the interaction. Enrollees had statistically higher motivation (domain value, self-efficacy, perceived autonomy support, and autonomous regulation), PE grade, and weekly levels of exercise beyond physical education. Qualitatively, nonenrollees reported more social concerns, less domain value, and disliked activities like fitness training, health content, and competition. Females had statistically higher body size discrepancy and qualitatively more domain value and concern about the social setting and the type of activities. Implications for the retention of high school physical education students are discussed.

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Heather E. Erwin, Megan Babkes Stellino, Michael W. Beets, Aaron Beighle and Christine E. Johnson

Obesity levels among American children are increasing at an alarming rate, due in part to a lack of regular physical activity (PA). Physical education (PE) is one way to facilitate student PA. The overarching PA goal for physical educators is 50% PA for students. Self-determination theory suggests that PA levels in PE and a variety of other contexts depend upon individuals’ motivation levels. The purpose of this study was to determine whether autonomy and lesson type related to children’s self-determination for, and actual, PA in elementary PE. Children from four elementary schools in the southern US engaged in four different PE lessons, representing variations in teaching conditions associated with student groupings and level of task choice. Students completed a motivation scale and wore pedometers and accelerometers. Results showed no situational motivation differences, but PA differences by lesson type existed. A number of plausible explanations are presented.

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Sarah Ullrich-French and Anne Cox

According to self-determination theory, motivation is multidimensional, with motivation regulations lying along a continuum of self-determination (Ryan & Deci, 2007). Accounting for the different types of motivation in physical activity research presents a challenge. This study used cluster analysis to identify motivation regulation profiles and examined their utility by testing profile differences in relative levels of self-determination (i.e., self-determination index), and theoretical antecedents (i.e., competence, autonomy, relatedness) and consequences (i.e., enjoyment, worry, effort, value, physical activity) of physical education motivation. Students (N = 386) in 6th- through 8th-grade physical education classes completed questionnaires of the variables listed above. Five profiles emerged, including average (n = 81), motivated (n = 82), self-determined (n = 91), low motivation (n = 73), and external (n = 59). Group difference analyses showed that students with greater levels of self-determined forms of motivation, regardless of non-self-determined motivation levels, reported the most adaptive physical education experiences.

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Carolina Lundqvist and Fredrik Sandin

This study examined subjective (SWB), psychological (PWB) and social well-being (Social WB) at a global and sport contextual level among ten elite orienteers (6 women and 4 men, median age = 20.4, range 18–30) by employing semistructured interviews. Athletes described SWB as an interplay of satisfaction with life, sport experiences and perceived health combined with experienced enjoyment and happiness in both ordinary life and sport. SWB and PWB interacted, and important psychological functioning among the elite athletes included, among other things, abilities to adopt value-driven behaviors, be part of functional relationships, and to self-regulate one’s autonomy. The ability to organize and combine ordinary life with elite sport, and the use of strategies to protect the self during setbacks was also emphasized. For a comprehensive theoretical understanding of well-being applicable to elite athletes, the need for a holistic view considering both global and sport-specific aspects of WB is discussed.

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John Stoszkowski and Dave Collins

Heutagogic learning is characterized by the notion of human agency. Power and autonomy are placed firmly in the hands of the learner, who takes responsibility for, and control of, what they will learn, when it will be learnt and how it will be learnt. As a result, if sufficiently reflexive, heutagogic learners are said to acquire both competencies (knowledge and skills) and capabilities (the capacity to appropriately and effectively apply one’s competence in novel and unanticipated situations). The complex and dynamic environment of sports coaching, coupled with coaches’ apparent preference for informal self-directed learning methods (as opposed to more formalised educational settings), would therefore seem perfect for its application. In this insights paper, we aim to stimulate debate by providing a critical overview of the heutagogic method and consider it against the nature of coaching skill. In tandem, we identify some essential preconditions that coaches might need to develop before heutagogic approaches might be deployed effectively in coach education.