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June I. Decker

The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of selected variables upon role conflict as experienced by teacher/coaches in small colleges and universities. Three types of role conflict—intersender, intrasender, and person-role—were considered. The effects of the gender of the teacher/coach, number of teams coached, type of sport coached, type of classes taught, and role preferred by the teacher/coach were examined. Survey data were collected from 735 randomly selected teacher/coaches from small colleges. The Role Conflict Scale was used to determine the amount of role conflict experienced by the subjects. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) techniques were used to test the hypotheses. Results indicated that subjects who preferred the singular role of coaching experienced significantly more intersender and person-role conflict than those who preferred the dual role of teaching and coaching.

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Allen L. Sack and Robert Thiel

Data from a national survey of college basketball players are analyzed to identify conditions that cause student athlete role conflict and the coping mechanisms used to make this conflict more manageable. NCAA division was found to be strongly related to role conflict regardless of the measure used. Gender was also found to have an impact. Role conflict was also related to scholarship status, the number of hours athletes perceive they must devote to basketball, and whether they believe their coaches make unreasonable demands on their time and energy. It was also found that athletes who ranked low in their high school graduating class and had sought help from an academic counselor were more likely than others to deal with role conflict by taking various academic shortcuts. One final conclusion is that the vast majority of college athletes, with the exception of Division I males, have little problem reconciling their roles as athletes and students.

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Keita Kamijo and Yuji Takeda

The relationship of physical activity to trial-by-trial adjustments of response conflict was assessed using behavioral task performance, the N2 event-related brain potential component, and phase-locking values (PLVs) in a lower gamma band during a perceptual conflict task. Nineteen physically active and 19 inactive young adults (mean age = 21.3 years) performed a Navon task, using a global letter made up of local letters of either the same kind (congruent trials) or a different kind (incongruent trials). Findings revealed that active individuals exhibited smaller N2 amplitudes and greater PLVs on incongruent trials that were preceded by incongruent trials compared with those preceded by congruent trials. Such phenomena were not observed for inactive individuals. These results suggest that greater physical activity is associated with larger trial-bytrial adjustments of response conflict, which we attribute to upregulation of top-down cognitive control and reductions in response conflict.

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Marlene A. Dixon and Jennifer E. Bruening

As numerous qualified women exit the workforce because of the challenges of balancing work and family, investigations of the work–family interface have become increasingly important. Research has indicated how multilevel factors (i.e., individual, organizational, and sociocultural) play a role in work–family conflict. Little research has examined these factors in relation to each other, however. In sport management, Dixon and Bruening (2005) argued that higher level factors (sociocultural and organizational) shape and constrain lower level behaviors (organizational and individual), which ultimately influence the perception and consequences of work–family conflict. The primary purpose of this investigation is to test and further develop Dixon and Bruening’s multilevel framework. The current study used online focus groups for data collection from 41 National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I female head coaches with children to examine the factors that impacted work–family conflict from a top-down perspective. The results illuminated the experiences of the coaching mothers and the factors that affected their job and life satisfaction at each of the three levels. Particular attention was paid to how higher level factors such as work climate and culture shaped and constrained lower level attitudes and behaviors such as individual conflict and time management. These relationships highlighted how individual attitudes and behaviors reflect larger structural and social forces at work, and not simply individual choices.

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Ben Jackson, Daniel F. Gucciardi and James A. Dimmock

Recent studies of coach–athlete interaction have explored the bivariate relationships between each of the tripartite efficacy constructs (self-efficacy; other-efficacy; relation-inferred self-efficacy, or RISE) and various indicators of relationship quality. This investigation adopted an alternative approach by using cluster analyses to identify tripartite efficacy profiles within a sample of 377 individual sport athletes (M age = 20.25, SD = 2.12), and examined how individuals in each cluster group differed in their perceptions about their relationship with their coach (i.e., commitment, satisfaction, conflict). Four clusters emerged: High (n = 128), Moderate (n = 95), and Low (n = 78) profiles, in which athletes reported relatively high, moderate, or low scores across all tripartite perceptions, respectively, as well as an Unfulfilled profile (n = 76) in which athletes held relatively high self-efficacy, but perceived lower levels of other-efficacy and RISE. Multivariate analyses revealed differences between the clusters on all relationship variables that were in line with theory. These results underscore the utility of considering synergistic issues in the examination of the tripartite efficacy framework.

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Shuhua Zhou, Jie Xu and Yinjiao Ye

This article first explicates the concept of sports enjoyment and then reviews the literature on the many facets of sports commentary regarding its general content and effects. An experimental study was designed to test whether complimentary or conflicting commentary, as well as game knowledge, and playing experience contributed to game enjoyment, perceived liking of the commentary, and perceived action in the game. Results partially supported the hypotheses. Specifically, commentary type had a significant impact on viewers’ liking of the commentary but had no impact on game enjoyment or perceived action in the game, game knowledge increased game enjoyment but had no impact on the other two dependent variables, and playing experience had a positive impact on perceived action in the game but had no impact on the other two variables. Implications are discussed.

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Shannon Kerwin and Alison Doherty

The purpose of this study was to investigate factors that moderate the association between substantive task and process conflicts and personal relationship conflict within Canadian intercollegiate athletic departments. The sample population was administrative office personnel in those departments (i.e., directors, managers, and support staff). Based on previous research and tenets of affective events theory, task participation, trust, cohesion, value dissimilarity, and negative affect were hypothesized to influence the likelihood that task and process conflict would trigger relationship conflict. Trust and value dissimilarity were found to significantly moderate the association between task conflict and further relationship conflict. The findings advance theory with regard to mechanisms that reduce negative conflict and enhance our understanding of intragroup conflict in intercollegiate athletics. Implications for research and practice are presented.

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Stephen Mellalieu, David A. Shearer and Catherine Shearer

Interpersonal conflict is a common factor reported by governing bodies and their athletes when preparing for, or competing in, major games and championships (Olusoga, Butt, Hays, & Maynard, 2009). The aim of this study was to conduct a preliminary exploration of a UK home nation’s athletes, management, and support staff experiences of interpersonal conflict during competition. Ninety participants who had represented or worked for their nation at major games or championships completed a detailed survey of interpersonal conflict experiences associated with competition. The results suggest athletes, coaches, and team managers are at the greatest risk from interpersonal conflict, while the competition venue and athlete village are where the most incidences of conflict occur. Interpersonal conflict was also suggested to predominantly lead to negative cognitive, affective, and behavioral consequences (disagreement, anger, upset, loss in concentration). Findings are discussed in the context of the experience of the interpersonal conflict with provisional recommendations offered for developing effective strategies for conflict management.

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Andreas Volp and Udo Keil Johann

Athletes* success and failure have often been linked to certain personality characteristics. Although previous results in this area were equivocal, many researchers concluded that athletes often drop out of competitive sport because of conflicts of interest, or because they fail to demonstrate high ability in sports. This investigation assessed the importance of intrapersonal conflicts to athletic performance and to dropping out. Swimmers competing at three different levels of performance filled out a conflict questionnaire. Some had indicated that they planned to discontinue their swimming career soon. High performers showed less conflict and a more intensive use of cognitive conflict reduction mechanisms than did medium performers and low level swimmers. Dropouts, on the other hand, had higher conflict scores in areas directly related to athletic performance than did continuers. Intrapersonal conflict was interpreted to be an important mediating variable in sport and personality research.

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Nicholas L. Holt, Camilla J. Knight and Peter Zukiwski

The purpose of this study was to examine female varsity athletes’ perceptions of teammate conflict. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 19 female varsity athletes (M age = 21.17 years) from four sport teams. Analysis revealed that conflict was a prevalent feature of playing on their teams. Conflict relating to performance and relationships was identified. Strategies athletes thought may help create conditions for managing conflict were to (a) engage in team building early in the season, (b) address conflict early, (c) engage mediators in the resolution of conflict, and (d) hold structured (rather than unstructured) team meetings. It also seemed that athletes required personal conflict resolution skills. These findings are compared with previous research and offered as implications for professional practice.