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Robert Weinberg, Robert Neff and Michael Garza

Since psychology professionals have a moral and ethical responsibility to evaluate the effectiveness of different products and services aimed at improving psychological/physical well-being, development, and/or performance, the purpose of the present investigation was to evaluate the effectiveness of the Winners for Life book (and accompanying Parent Instructor Guide) on improving a variety of psychological factors for at-risk adolescents. Participants were 96 pairs from the Big Brothers/Little Brothers, Big Sisters/Little Sisters program. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: Winners for Life book, Winners for Life book plus instructor guide, or control group. Each group participated in a 12-week intervention program. Results revealed that both Winners for Life book conditions resulted in greater increases in self-esteem, self-perceived goal setting ability, optimism, and hope than the control condition, with the Winners for Life book plus instructor guide condition achieving the greatest improvements.

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Richard Mullen and Lew Hardy

The three experiments reported here examined the process goal paradox, which has emerged from the literature on goal setting and conscious processing. We predicted that skilled but anxious performers who adopted a global movement focus using holistic process goals would outperform those who used part-oriented process goals. In line with the conscious processing hypothesis, we also predicted that performers using part process goals would experience performance impairment in test compared with baseline conditions. In all three experiments, participants performed motor tasks in baseline and test conditions. Cognitive state anxiety increased in all of the test conditions. The results confirmed our first prediction; however, we failed to find unequivocal evidence to support our second prediction. The consistent pattern of the results lends support to the suggestion that, for skilled athletes who perform under competitive pressure, using a holistic process goal that focuses attention on global aspects of a motor skill is a more effective attentional focus strategy than using a part process goal.

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Alex Arceo

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Robert Weinberg, Lawrence Bruya and Allen Jackson

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Robert Weinberg and Daniel Weigand

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Lawrence R. Brawley, Albert V. Carron and W. Neil Widmeyer

The purpose of this investigation was to explore the influence of the group on variables related to group goals. First, group goal clarity, commitment, behavioral influence, and group cohesion were hypothesized to predict satisfaction with group goals. Second, the amount of perceived participative goal setting was hypothesized to relate to the above variables and cohesion. Third, the proposed relationships were hypothesized to change in form over time. It was found that aspects of group cohesion and group goal influence were the most reliable predictors of group goal satisfaction for both practice and competition. Results support the notion that participation in goal setting is strongly related to other member perceptions describing "groupness." As suggested by Moreland and Levine (1988), these results emphasize that group properties of teams are not static but vary in their influence, most likely as a function of the changing processes associated with group development and socialization.

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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.

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Barbara Ann Boyce

This study investigated the effect of goal proximity on skill acquisition and retention of a selected shooting task. Twelve classes (n=181) were randomly assigned to one of four conditions: (a) short-term goals, (b) a long-term goal, (c) short-term plus long-term goals, and (d) do-your-best goals. The pretest and six skill acquisition/retention trials were analyzed in a 4×2×6 (Goal Groups × Gender × Trials) MANCOVA design with repeated measures on the last factor and with the pretest as the covariate. Results of a multivariate F test revealed significant main effects for goal groups, gender, and trials. Post hoc tests indicated that the three specific goal-setting groups were superior to the do-your-best group. Males were statistically superior to females in the shooting task. The follow-up tests on trials revealed that as trials progressed, shooting performance improved significantly.