The study explored patterns of change in a number of potentially performance-related variables (i.e., fatigue, social support, self-efficacy, autonomous motivation, mental skills) during the lead-up to a competitive triathlon, and whether these patterns of change differed for relatively superior versus inferior performers. Forty-two triathletes completed an inventory measuring the study variables every other day during a 2-week period leading up to competition. Performance was assessed using participants’ race time, and using a self-referenced relative score compared with personal best times. Multilevel growth curve analyses revealed significant differences in growth trajectories over the 2-week period in mental skills use, social support, and fatigue. The results provide novel insight into how athletes’ fluctuating psychological state in the 2 weeks before competition may be crucial in determining performance.
Ruth Boat and Ian M. Taylor
Derwin K.C. Chan, Andreas Ivarsson, Andreas Stenling, Sophie X. Yang, Nikos L.D. Chatzisarantis and Martin S. Hagger
Consistency tendency is characterized by the propensity for participants responding to subsequent items in a survey consistent with their responses to previous items. This method effect might contaminate the results of sport psychology surveys using cross-sectional design. We present a randomized controlled crossover study examining the effect of consistency tendency on the motivational pathway (i.e., autonomy support → autonomous motivation → intention) of self-determination theory in the context of sport injury prevention. Athletes from Sweden (N = 341) responded to the survey printed in either low interitem distance (IID; consistency tendency likely) or high IID (consistency tendency suppressed) on two separate occasions, with a one-week interim period. Participants were randomly allocated into two groups, and they received the survey of different IID at each occasion. Bayesian structural equation modeling showed that low IID condition had stronger parameter estimates than high IID condition, but the differences were not statistically significant.
Johan Y.Y. Ng, Cecilie Thøgersen-Ntoumani and Nikos Ntoumanis
We examined motivation contagion in a hypothetical exercise setting. Exercise science students (n = 164) were provided with quotes of hypothetical male and female obese exercisers displaying different quality of motivation to start an exercise program. We used a 3 (exerciser motivation) × 2 (exerciser gender) × 2 (student gender) between-subjects experimental design to examine students’ (a) motivation to instruct, (b) interpersonal style, (c) perception of barrier efficacy of the exerciser, and (d) effort to identify factors that could maximize the effectiveness of an exercise program for the exerciser. Results showed that students displayed less controlled motivation and rated the exerciser as more capable of overcoming barriers to exercise when they perceived the exerciser to be autonomously motivated. However, students, particularly females, reported more autonomy support and invested more effort toward female exercisers with controlled motivation. Our findings indicate that motivation contagion effects are plausible in exercise settings and may affect interactions between fitness instructors and obese clients.
Danielle Adams, Kelly J. Ashford and Robin C. Jackson
The effect of priming on the speed and accuracy of skilled performance and on a probe-reaction time task designed to measure residual attentional capacity, was assessed. Twenty-four skilled soccer players completed a dribbling task under three prime conditions (fluency, skill-focus, and neutral) and a control condition. Results revealed changes in trial completion time and secondary task performance in line with successfully priming autonomous and skill-focused attention. Retention test data for task completion time and probe-reaction time indicated a linear decrease in the priming effect such that the effect was nonsignificant after 30 min. Results provide further support for the efficacy of priming and provide the first evidence of concurrent changes in attentional demands, consistent with promoting or disrupting automatic skill execution.
Kimberly S. Peer
Sports medicine professionals are facing new dilemmas in light of the changing dynamics of sport as an enterprise. These changes have considerable ethical implications as sports medicine team members are placed in challenging ethical decision-making situations that often create values tensions. These values conflicts have the potential to threaten and degrade the trust established through the mutual expectations inherent in the social contract between the health care providers and society. According to Starr,1 the social contract is defined as the relationship between medicine and society that is renegotiated in response to the complexities of modern medicine and contemporary society. Anchored in expectations of both society and the medical professions, this tacit contract provides a strong compass for professional practice as it exemplifies the powerful role and examines the deep responsibilities held by health care providers in our society. Although governed by professional boards and organizational codes of ethics, sports medicine professionals are challenged by the conflicts of interest between paternalistic care for the athlete and autonomous decisions often influenced by stakeholders other than the athletes themselves. Understanding how the construct of sport has impacted sports health care will better prepare sports medicine professionals for the ethical challenges they will likely face and, more importantly, facilitate awareness and change of the critical importance of upholding the integrity of the professional social contract.
Weiyun Chen and Andrew J. Hypnar
Motivations for and positive attitudes toward physical activity (PA) developed during childhood are likely to be carried over to adulthood. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between three psychological needs satisfaction, motivational regulations in physical education (PE), and attitudes toward participation in leisure-time PA among upper elementary school students. One thousand and seventy-three students in grades 3-5 anonymously and voluntarily completed three measures, including Psychological Needs Satisfaction, Motivational Regulations, and Attitudes, which were modified from previous works and judged by a panel of experts to ensure the wording of each item was understandable for upper elementary school students. The data were analyzed with descriptive statistics, composite reliability coefficient, and multilevel confirmatory factor analysis methods. The results indicated that the composite reliability coefficients of the measures were above .60, ranging from .62 to .79. The results of structural equation model indicated that satisfactions of autonomy, competence, and relatedness were significantly instrumental to the enhancement of autonomous motivation in PE settings and attitudes toward PA participation. Elementary school students’ having fun, obtaining benefits, and being with friends were all major motivational factors contributing to positive attitudes toward PA outside of school.
Jessica J. McCarthy
Nicholls’ achievement goal theory suggests that a task-oriented individual sets goals based on a desire to master particular skills or tasks (Nicholls, 1984, 1989), thus promoting intrinsic motivation (Duda, Chi, Newton, & Walling, 1995). An ego-oriented individual evaluates one’s own performance against the performance of others with comparable skill sets, basing success on outperforming the opponent (Nicholls, 1984, 1989), resulting in low intrinsic motivation. Cognitive evaluation theory, embraced within self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 1985, 1991), suggests that an event that satisfies an inherent need for competence and autonomy leads to increased intrinsic motivation (Standage, Duda, & Pensgaard, 2005). Similarly, Brown and Ryan (2003) found that trait-mindfulness predicted more autonomous activity in day-to-day life and lower intensity and frequency of negative affect. It was therefore hypothesized that in a population of collegiate athletes, a relationship between mindfulness and goal orientation would exist; athletes higher in task-orientation would be more mindful than athletes higher in ego-orientation. Results indicate that a relationship does in fact exist between the Acting with Awareness subscale of the Kentucky Inventory of Mindfulness Skills (KIMS; Baer, Smith, & Allen, 2004) and task-orientation, in that as level of awareness increases, the level of task-orientation also increases. Level of awareness also predicted level of task orientation in athletes. Implications for practice and future research are discussed.
Alex Antonio Florindo, Evelyn Fabiana Costa, Thiago Herick Sa, Taynã Ishii dos Santos, Marília Velardi and Douglas Roque Andrade
The aim of this study was to describe a methodology for training to provide counseling on physical activity among community health workers working within primary healthcare in Brazil.
This was an intervention study conducted with 65 community health workers in the Ermelino Matarazzo district in the São Paulo, Brazil (30 in intervention group). The intervention group received a course of 12 hours (with 4 meetings of 3 hours each in 1 month) that aimed to improve their knowledge and be autonomous with regard to promoting physical activity. For data analysis, focus groups and questionnaires on knowledge and perceptions regarding physical activity were used.
The average attendance for the 4 meetings was 29 workers (93% of total). There was an improvement in knowledge on physical activity recommendations in comparison with the control (P = .03), and qualitative results revealed that the professionals appreciated the learned content, valued its application based on knowledge construction and felt secure about promoting physical activity. This was seen through high adherence levels and construction collective of proposal for home visits for physical activity promotion.
The training was effective in improving knowledge and attitudes toward counseling on physical activity among community health workers.
Sung Hyeon Cheon, Johnmarshall Reeve and Ik Soo Moon
Using the field’s state-of-the-art knowledge, we designed, implemented, and assessed the effectiveness of an intervention to help physical education (PE) teachers be more autonomy supportive during instruction. Nineteen secondary-school PE teachers in Seoul were randomly assigned into either an experimental or a delayed-treatment control group, and their 1,158 students self-reported their course-related psychological need satisfaction, autonomous motivation, amotivation, classroom engagement, skill development, future intentions, and academic achievement at the beginning, middle, and end of the semester. Observers’ ratings and students’ self-reports confirmed that the intervention was successful. Repeated-measures ANCOVAs showed that the students of teachers in the experimental group showed midsemester and end-of-semester improvements in all dependent measures. A multilevel structural equation model mediation analysis showed why the teacher-training program produced improvements in all six student outcomes—namely, teachers in the experimental group vitalized their students’ psychological need satisfaction during PE class in ways that teachers in the control group were unable to do, and it was this enhanced need satisfaction that explained the observed improvements in all six outcomes.
Ann-Sophie Van Hoecke, Christophe Delecluse, An Bogaerts and Filip Boen
This study compared the long-term effectiveness of three physical activity counseling strategies among sedentary older adults: a 1-contact referral (REFER), a 1-contact individualized walking program (WALK), and multiple-contact, individually tailored, and need-supportive coaching based on the self-determination theory (COACH). Participants (n = 442) completed measurements before (pretest), immediately after (posttest), and 1 yr after (follow-up test) a 10-wk intervention. Linear mixed models demonstrated significant time-by-condition interaction effects from pre- to posttest. More specifically, WALK and COACH yielded larger increases in daily steps and self-reported physical activity than REFER. Similarly, self-reported physical activity increased more from pre- to follow-up test in WALK and COACH compared with REFER. Autonomous motivation mediated the effect of perceived need-support on physical activity, irrespective of counseling strategy. These results demonstrate the long-term effectiveness of both a 1-contact individualized walking program and a more time-consuming, need-supportive coaching, especially in comparison with a standard referral to local opportunities.