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Anna E. Saw, Michael Kellmann, Luana C. Main and Paul B. Gastin

Athlete self-report measures (ASRM) have the potential to provide valuable insight into the training response; however, there is a disconnect between research and practice that needs to be addressed; namely, the measure or methods used in research are not always reflective of practice, or data primarily obtained from practice lacks empirical quality. This commentary reviews existing empirical measures and the psychometric properties required to be considered acceptable for research and practice. This information will allow discerning readers to make a judgment on the quality of ASRM data being reported in research papers. Fastidious practitioners and researchers are also provided with explicit guidelines for selecting and implementing an ASRM and reporting these details in research papers.

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Jean M. Williams and Vikki Krane

Self-report measures of psychological states are commonly used in sport psychology research and practice, yet the possibility of response bias due to social desirability (repressive defensiveness) often has been overlooked. The present study was designed to examine whether or not a significant relationship exists between social desirability and competitive trait anxiety and the CSAI-2 subscales measuring state somatic anxiety, cognitive anxiety, and self-confidence. The participants were 58 female collegiate golfers representing 13 NCAA Division I universities. Pearson product-moment correlations indicated that competitive trait anxiety (−.24), self-confidence (.45, .38), and cognitive anxiety (−.24) appeared to be influenced by social desirability distortion. If the present findings are replicated in future studies using the SCAT, CSAI-2, and other inventories, the field of sport psychology may need to reexamine some of the theoretical and application conclusions drawn from previous research in which no attempt was made to eliminate data from subjects who may have distorted their responses.

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Heather Barber

This study aimed to examine gender differences in sources of competence information and the resultant perceptions of competence among male and female interscholastic coaches. Participants (102 female and 138 male coaches of girls’ sports) completed self-report measures that assessed preferences for sources of coaching competence information, perceptions of general and specific coaching competence, and potential reasons for withdrawal from coaching. Multivariate analyses revealed significant gender differences among sources of competence information, with women showing greater preference for athletes’ improvement and for improvement of their own coaching skills. Gender differences between coaching competence perceptions were also found. Males and females were similar in most self-perceptions, but women perceived themselves to be more competent at teaching sport skills. Contrary to theoretical predictions, canonical correlations between sources and perceptions of competence did not indicate a strong link between these two constructs for male or female coaches.

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Thomas D. Raedeke and Gary L. Stein

This study examined the relationship between felt arousal, thoughts/feelings, and ski performance based on recent arousal and affect conceptualizations. An eclectic integration of these perspectives suggests that to understand the arousal-performance relationship, researchers need to examine not only a felt arousal continuum (i.e., intensity or level ranging from low to high), but also a concomitant thoughts and feelings continuum (i.e., ranging from positive to negative). Recreational slalom ski racers completed a self-report measure examining felt arousal and thoughts/feelings prior to several ski runs. Results demonstrated a significant relationship between felt arousal level, thoughts/feelings, and subjective ski performance ratings, but not for actual ski times. In contrast to the inverted-U hypothesis for subjective performance ratings, high felt arousal is not associated with poor performance ratings if it is accompanied by positive thoughts and feelings.

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Marios Goudas, Stuart Biddle, Kenneth Fox and Martin Underwood

The purpose of this study was to examine the motivational effects of two different teaching styles in one sport activity. One class of 24 girls was taught track and field for 10 weeks, each lesson being taught with either a direct (practice) or a differentiated (inclusion) teaching style. After each lesson the girls completed self-report measures of intrinsic motivation and goal involvement. On course completion, 8 girls were interviewed to assess their reactions to the course. ANOVA showed that students reporting higher levels of competence, autonomy, and task orientation had higher intrinsic motivation scores throughout the course. However, teaching style was also found to have an independent effect; the differentiated style was associated with higher levels of intrinsic motivation and task goal involvement and lower levels of work avoidance involvement. A differentiated teaching style can positively influence young girls’ reactions to a sports activity independently of perceptions of goal orientations, autonomy, and competence.

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Sandra L. Gibbons and Vicki Ebbeck

This study examined the effectiveness of social learning (SL) or structural developmental (SD) teaching strategies on the moral development of elementary-age students. Participants were 204 physical education students in Grades 4,5, and 6; three classrooms in each grade were randomly assigned to control, SL, or SD groups. Self-report measures assessed moral judgment, reason, and intention; teachers rated prosocial behavior. By mid- and postintervention class-level analyses, the SL and SD groups scored significantly higher than the control on moral judgment and/or intention; by postintervention, the SD group was significantly higher on moral reason. Mid- and postintervention student-level analyses showed that the SL and SD groups scored significantly higher on moral judgment, intention, and behavior; the SD group was significantly higher on moral reason. These results provide support for the effectiveness of both social learning and structural-developmental teaching strategies on the moral development of children in physical education.

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Alan MacPherson, Dave Collins and Calvin Morriss

This article considers interesting differences between the mental focus employed by an elite athlete javelin thrower (E1) when contrasted with three international standard javelin throwers (I1, I2, I3). Athletes’ mental focus was recorded in both competition and training using self-report measures. In addition, kinematic analysis through point of release was examined for both categories of athlete. In both conditions, E1 demonstrated lower patterns of movement variability. Interestingly, a contrasting mental focus was recorded among athletes I1, I2, and I3 when compared with athlete E1. Tentative conclusions are drawn concerning the optimum sources of information for athletes before task execution in self-paced athletic events.

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Maureen R. Weiss and Candie Stevens

Studies examining the declining percentage of female coaches at the high school and collegiate levels have either been descriptive or sociological in nature. The present study was designed to explore this phenomenon from a psychological vantage, specifically using a social exchange theoretical perspective. Current (n = 99) and former (n = 54) coaches completed self-report measures that assessed benefits, costs, and satisfaction levels with overall coaching experiences and alternative activities. A discriminant function analysis revealed that current and former coaches could be distinguished on the basis of certain benefits, costs, and satisfaction levels. Current coaches assigned greater importance to benefits relating to program success and continuation of athletic experiences, costs relating to time demands and low perceived competence, and overall satisfaction with coaching. Moreover, 74.4% and 75.6% of current and former coaches, respectively, could be classified correctly to group membership based on scores on these variables. These results provide only partial support for social exchange theory predictions.

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Melinda A. Solmon and Amelia M. Lee

In this study, relationships between entry characteristics, in-class behavior, self-report measures of student cognition, and achievement during motor skill instruction were examined. Fifty-six sixth-grade students participated in a 4-day instructional unit on the forearm pass in volleyball. All classes were videotaped to code in-class behavior. Data collection included skill pretest and posttest, Harter’s Perceived Competence Scale, forms about the errors made during practice, and a Cognitive Processes Questionnaire (CPQ). Correlates of achievement, as reflected by residual gain scores, were perceived competence, student reports of attention, and variables indicating the quality of practice. Relationships between entry characteristics, in-class behavior, and measures of cognition were evaluated using canonical correlational analyses, and these relationships suggest that entry characteristics are important factors in how students interact in achievement settings. The results of this study show that investigating the complex relationships between these sets of variables can yield results that clarify how students effectively mediate instruction.

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Kate Goodger, Trish Gorely, David Lavallee and Chris Harwood

The purpose of the present review was to provide an up-to-date summary of the burnout-in-sport literature. The last published reviews were in 1989 (Fender) and 1990 (Dale & Weinberg). In order to appreciate the status of current knowledge and understanding and to identify potential future directions, the authors conducted a synthesis of published work using a systematic-review methodology. Findings comprised 3 sections: sample characteristics, correlates, and research designs and data collection. A total of 58 published studies were assessed, most of which focused on athletes (n = 27) and coaches (n = 23). Correlates were grouped into psychological, demographic, and situational factors and were summarized as positively, negatively, indeterminate, and nonassociated with burnout. Self-report measures and cross-sectional designs have dominated research. The authors conclude by summarizing the key findings in the literature and highlighting the gaps that could be filled by future research.