In their response to our recent paper (Harwood, Hardy, & Swain, 2000), Treasure et al. (2001) claimed to have clarified our misconceptions and misrepresentations of achievement goal research. After first of all commenting on the apparently rather emotive nature of their response, we logically deal with each of their criticisms. Specifically, we present sound theoretical arguments to show that: (a) personal theories of achievement hold primacy over achievement goals; (b) we are not “particularly confused” (or even a little confused) in our understanding of conceptions of ability; (c) there are excellent reasons for examining the possibility of a tripartite approach to goal orientation and goal involvement; and (d) the issue of measurement in achievement goal research needs to be carefully reconsidered. Further, in response to the status quo offered by Treasure and colleagues, we call for more innovative research that will help progress the impact of achievement goal theory in competitive sport.
Chris Harwood and Lew Hardy
John G.H. Dunn
Many competitive sport anxiety researchers have examined the degree to which athletes worry before or during competition. Little attention has been paid, however, to establishing a conceptual framework for structuring the content of competitive worry. The main purpose of this study was to examine the latent dimensionality of competitive worry in intercollegiate ice hockey (N= 178) using a conceptual framework based on two multidimensional anxiety theories developed by Endler (1983) and Hackfort (1986). Multidimensional scaling and factor-analytic results revealed that competitive worry in ice hockey can be structured around a combination of four potential content domains relating to athletes’ fear of failure, negative social evaluation, injury or physical danger, and the unknown. These constructs were congruent with the situational anxiety dimensions proposed by Endler and Hackfort. Discussion focuses on the characteristic features of the four worry domains and the extent to which athletes were predisposed to experiencing each type of worry.
Robin J. Farrell, Peter R.E. Crocker, Meghan H. McDonough and Whitney A. Sedgwick
Special Olympics programs provide competitive sport opportunities for athletes with intellectual disabilities. This study investigated athletes’ perceptions of motivation in Special Olympics. Using Self-Determination Theory (SDT) as a guiding framework to explore athletes’ experiences, 38 Special Olympians (21 males and 17 females) from British Columbia, Canada were interviewed. The data suggested that factors that enhanced autonomy, competence, and relatedness were linked to the participants’ motivation in Special Olympics programs. These factors included positive feedback, choice, learning skills, demonstrating ability, friendships, social approval, and fun. Social support from significant others was a key factor related to participation motivation. There was also evidence for the motivating aspects of extrinsic rewards. Motivation was undermined primarily by conflicts with coaches and teammates.
Jayne M. Jenkins and Brandon L. Alderman
The Sport Education (SE) curricular model incorporated within university physical education Basic Instruction Program (BIP) may increase group cohesion. This study’s purpose was to identify student perceptions of a BIP course taught within SE, and investigate group cohesion in differing activity content. Participants included 430 students enrolled in 25 BIP classes delivered in SE. A mixed method design included multiple data collection: critical incident, interview, and Physical Activity Group Environmental Questionnaire (PAGEQ). Lifetime skill and competitive sport class participants reflected more group cohesion than exercise class participants. Exercise class participants reported lower task cohesion than other groups, p < .05. Sport participants reported higher social cohesion than lifetime skill participants, whose responses were higher than exercise participants, ps<.05. Findings from critical incident and interview data provided further support for the PAGEQ results. We suggest that exercise classes may not spontaneously lend themselves to cohesion; thus, teachers need to be more creative in designing SE for exercise classes to increase cohesion.
Mark H. Anshel
Drug abuse in competitive sport continues to be pervasive. Numerous explanations have been given for this and the reasons range from performance enhancement (anabolic steroids) to relieving stress and boredom (so-called recreational drugs). Drug testing, strict policies and enforcement, and educational programs have continued to be the main responses to the problem. However, relatively little attention has been given to preventive rather than punitive and curative strategies, particularly with respect to the coach’s input. This article offers several cognitive and behavioral approaches for coaches and sport psychology consultants in dealing with drug abuse among athletes. The recommendations are based on personal interactions with hundreds of intercollegiate athletes conducted over a 6-year period and from the extant professional literature.
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.
The rehabilitation of 77 competitive athletes with long-term injuries was followed for 2–3 years from the time of the injury with the aim of identifying potential risk factors in rehabilitation. Seven athletes not returning to competitive sport despite favorable physical records were compared with 5 athletes who returned despite unfavorable records and with 65 athletes whose rehabilitation met expectations. Twelve tests were employed on four different occasions. The results suggested that being younger, being female, and having had no previous experience with injury characterized the nonreturning athlete. An insufficient mental plan for rehabilitation and a predominantly negative attitude toward it, as well as restricted social contacts with fellow athletes and a low mood level, appeared to accompany a problematic and prolonged rehabilitation. It was concluded that the nonreturning, long-term injured athlete can be identified as early as the beginning of the rehabilitation process.
Susan Lynn, Marie Hardin and Kristie Walsdorf
This study examines the presentation of women in advertising photographs published in four women’s sports and fitness magazines in order to ascertain the presence of sexual difference and differentiate between advertising messages in the magazines. Researchers found strong support for sexual difference in advertisements contained in fitness-oriented magazines, and, at the other end of the spectrum, rejection of sexual difference in magazines that emphasized competitive sport. The advertising images generally provided mixed messages in regard to sexual difference. The authors suggest that the continued use of sexual difference in sport advertising images is a function of commodity feminism, which serves the capitalist hegemony. The authors discuss the need for visual representations that are truly feminist.
Monica Lounsbery, Tim Bungum and Nicole Smith
We examined the status of physical activity opportunity in Nevada K-12 public schools. The focus was on determining both prevalence and nature of existing programs as well as school administrators’ perceived barriers to offering physical activity programs.
A 15 item questionnaire was used to assess prevalence and nature of programs as well as perceived barriers.
Nevada school-age children do not have regular access to physical education. Excluding physical education, more than 30% of schools do not provide physical activity programming. Most existing programs are competitive sport related. In addition, as students matriculate through school, fewer program options and opportunities to participate throughout the school day are available. Lack of funds was the most frequently reported perceived barrier to offering physical activity programs.
Opportunities to be physically active over the course of the school day are limited and as a result, hinder important national objectives for health-related outcomes.
Sophia Jowett and Duncan Cramer
Guided by the work-family interface literature, this study examined the concept of spillover in a sample of elite athletes. It was conceptualized that there would be potential negativity and interference between athletes’ intense demands of competitive sport and efforts to maintain positive relationships with their partners. Antecedents and consequences of the potential spillover phenomenon were assessed in a sample of 87 elite-level athletes who had either romantic or marital, heterosexual relationships. Findings indicated that while trust, commitment, and communication were not strongly related to spillover, negative transactions were. Moreover, the occurrence of spillover was negatively related to sport satisfaction and positively to depressive symptoms. Finally, it was found that a mechanism by which perceived negative transactions were linked to athletes’ satisfaction and depression was through spillover. Spillover can help explain how personal relationships and sport are likely to contribute to athletes’ performance accomplishment and overall well-being.