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Jo Doyle and Gaynor Parfitt

This study attempted to assess the construct validity of the performance profile technique (Butler, 1989) within elite track and field athletics. Twelve elite (senior international honors) athletes (5 male, 7 female: mean age = 21.2, SD = 1.81) completed their profile on five occasions across winter training and the indoor season. Support for the construct validity of the profile was identified by a reduction in profile areas of perceived need (F (4, 44) = 11.77, p < .05) which was congruent with the observed increase in performance (F (4, 44) = 26.30, p < .05) as athletes progressed from winter training to the peak of the competitive indoor season. Trend analyses also identified that areas of perceived need in profile constructs, which were classified as most important to performance, showed a greater and more rapid reduction across the five occasions compared to the least important constructs. However, the results raise some concern over the usefulness of the profile for detecting subtle but important changes in performance and perceived need.

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Andrew C. Sparkes

Evaluating the quality of qualitative inquiry has begun to intrigue researchers in sport psychology. Consequently, this has raised important questions regarding the criteria for judging this emerging form of inquiry. With the intent to stimulate methodological debate, this paper explores prevailing notions of validity in qualitative sport psychology by focusing on how various scholars have framed this term. The prevailing parallel perspective of validity is discussed, as are specific problems associated with this view. In contrast, recent attempts to reconceptualize validity in relation to particular forms of qualitative inquiry are considered. The socially constructed nature of validity and the multiplicity of meanings associated with this term are presented according to a diversification perspective. More radical calls to renounce validity and seek alternative criteria for judging qualitative inquiry are also discussed. In closing, the ongoing problem of criteria and its implications for research in sport psychology are considered.

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Clive J. Brewer and Robyn L. Jones

The purpose of this paper is to propose a five-stage process for establishing both validity and reliability in new systematic observation instruments. The process is contextualized within the working behaviors of elite level rugby union coaches within the practice setting. The sequential stages began with observer training and progressed through the identification of coaching behaviors through induction (to establish content validity), to establishing face validity through a domain-referenced test. The objectivity and reliability of the developed behavioral classifications are determined through an interobserver agreement test while, finally, the researcher’s ability to reliably reproduce data with the developed instrument is determined using a test/retest intraobserver reliability check. The developed instrument (the Rugby Union Coaches Observation Instrument: RUCOI) is deemed able to record the situationally unique behaviors arising from the nature of the sport and of the elite standard, both of which were considered to impinge upon the pedagogical process in the said context.

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Andrew G. Wood, Jamie B. Barker, Martin Turner and Peter Thomson

beyond self-report markers. Accordingly, we tried to maintain adequate scientific rigor, overcome the methodological shortcomings of previous studies (e.g.,  Turner et al., 2014 ), and conduct an applied investigation in an ecologically valid setting. To this end, a within-participant pretest

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Ralph Renger

The purpose of this paper is to reiterate the importance of testing for the predictive validity of regression and discriminant solutions in studies devoted to the prediction of athletic success. Two approaches to test for the predictive validity of regression and discriminant solutions, longitudinal and cross-validation, are reviewed. Statistical issues relating to predictive validity, including small case to predictor ratios, multicollinearity, and the limitations of stepwise regression are discussed. The paper also examines alternative methodologies that would enable researchers to obtain better estimates of predictive validity. Several studies in the prediction of athletic success that have reported high squared multiple correlation coefficients (R 2) are reviewed. The purpose of this review is to demonstrate how various statistical limitations bring into question the conclusions drawn from these studies.

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Vikki Krane

Two studies were designed to test the validity of the Mental Readiness Form (MRF; Murphy, Greenspan, Jowdy, and Tammen, 1989) with collegiate athletes. In Study 1, male and female athletes completed the CSAI-2 and the original or a modified MRF within 60 minutes prior to competition. In Study 2, subjects completed two forms of the MRF with slightly different anchor terms, the CSAI-2, trait anxiety measures, and a social desirability scale. Overall, results indicated moderate to strong correlations between corresponding CSAI-2 subscales and MRF items, supporting its concurrent validity. The intercorrelations among MRF items were high, but were similar to the intercorrelations among CSAI-2 subscales. Correlations with trait anxiety also supported the concurrent validity of the MRF. None of the MRF scales or the CSAI-2 were significantly correlated with social desirability. The preliminary analyses in these studies provide initial support for the MRF as a measure of competitive anxiety when expediency is an important concern.

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Ronald E. Smith

Advances in applied sport psychology will require the application of experimental, quasi-experimental, and nonexperimental research methodologies. The case study has stimulated important discoveries in many areas of psychology, although its limitations for drawing causal inferences are widely acknowledged. Case studies vary markedly in their design and methodology, however, and these differences dictate the extent to which alternative explanations can be ruled out on procedural or empirical grounds. The present article discusses design considerations that influence the construct validity, internal and external validity, and reliability of case reports. The application of techniques such as pattern matching, time-series analysis, and goal-attainment scaling to case study methodology is also described. Finally, guidelines for planning and reporting case studies in a manner that enhances their scientific and practical contributions are discussed.

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Henrik Gustafsson, Göran Kenttä, Peter Hassmén and Carolina Lundqvist

This study examined the factorial validity of the Eades Burnout Inventory (EABI) and the prevalence of burnout in adolescent elite athletes and whether burnout is more common in individual sports than in team sports. The EABI was distributed to 980 athletes (402 females and 578 males) in 29 different sports. Confirmatory-factor analyses revealed an acceptable factorial validity for a theoretically supported four-factor model of the EABI. Between 1% and 9% of the athletes displayed elevated burnout scores on these four subscales. The hypothesis of higher prevalence of burnout in individual sports was, however, not supported. Furthermore, no correlation between training load and burnout scores was found. These findings suggest that factors other than training load must be considered when athletes at risk for burnout are investigated.

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Betty C. Kelley and Timothy Baghurst

The Coaching Issues Survey (CIS) was developed to measure sport/coaching-specific issues that may produce stress within the coaching role and situation. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis revealed a four-factor structure with a sample of collegiate basketball coaches. The four separate, but related subscales of Win-Loss, Time-Role, Program-Success, and Athlete-Concerns demonstrated high internal consistency and good stability over time. The CIS was sensitive to gender differences and paralleled differences noted with stress and burnout measures. The CIS was quite predictive of stress appraisal and slightly predictive of burnout, providing evidence for construct validity as a personal/situational variable within the current theoretical conceptualizations of the stress and burnout process. The initial reliability and validity evidence suggests that the CIS can be a valuable measure of potentially problematic issues for coaches, facilitating the investigation of stress and burnout in coaching.

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Harry Prapavessis and J. Robert Grove

This study tested the utility of Morgan’s (1980) Mental Health Model and Hanin’s (1980) Zone of Optimal Function Model in an ecologically valid environment. A sample of 12 high-performance adult clay-target shooters were tested over an entire competitive season. Precompetitive mood states were assessed using Schacham’s (1983) short version of the Profile of Mood States (POMS; McNair, Lorr, & Droppleman, 1971). Results revealed partial support for Hanin’s model but no support for Morgan’s model. Discussion focuses on the importance of multiple assessments of precompetitive emotions, recognition of individual differences, and selection of a precise measure of sport performance.