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Ken Hodge, Chris Lonsdale, and Susan A. Jackson

In this exploratory study, we examined hypothesized antecedents (basic psychological needs) and consequences (dispositional flow) of athlete engagement (AE); plus the extent to which AE mediated the relationship between basic needs and flow. Structural equation modeling with a sample of 201 elite Canadian athletes (60.20% female, mean age = 22.92 years) showed that needs satisfaction (particularly competence & autonomy) predicted athlete engagement (30% explained variance); and needs satisfaction and athlete engagement predicted dispositional flow (68% explained variance). AE partially mediated the relationship between needs satisfaction and flow. Practical suggestions are offered for needs-supportive coaching programs designed to increase both AE and flow.

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Thomas Curran, Andrew P. Hill, Howard K. Hall, and Gareth E. Jowett

Youth sport is a source of well-being for adolescents, yet experiences vary and attrition can be high. We sought to better understand the coach behaviors that foster positive experiences in youth sport by examining relationships between the motivational climate and athlete engagement (viz., confidence, dedication, enthusiasm, and vigor). We reasoned that a mastery climate (emphasis on effort and learning) would correspond with higher engagement, whereas a performance climate (emphasis on ability and outcome) was expected to correspond with lower engagement. Two-hundred sixty adolescent soccer players completed measures of engagement and perceived coach motivational climate. All dimensions of engagement were positively predicted by a mastery climate. Furthermore, cognitive aspects of engagement were positively predicted by a performance climate. Canonical correlation analysis indicated that a composite of engagement was positively associated with a mastery climate. Results suggest that a mastery climate offers a means of promoting higher levels of overall engagement.

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Christine E. Pacewicz and Alan L. Smith

, 2001 ). Athlete burnout is strongly and negatively linked to athlete engagement, an adaptive motivational experience ( DeFreese & Smith, 2013a ; Hodge, Lonsdale, & Jackson, 2009 ; Lonsdale, Hodge, & Raedeke, 2007 ; Podlog et al., 2015 ). Athlete engagement is a cognitive–affective state

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Moira Lafferty and Caroline Wakefield

The aim of this study was to explore female student athletes’ participation in initiation activities, specifically to examine whether activities in the United Kingdom followed trends similar to those reported elsewhere. A sample of 8 female athletes representing both traditional and nontraditional team and individual sports (M age = 20 yr 3 mo, SD = 1 yr 3 mo) who met inclusion criteria of having taken part in an initiation ceremony consented to participate in a semistructured interview. Thematic content analysis resulted in the emergence of 6 higher order themes represented by 2 general dimensions: the initiation event and initiation outcomes. Findings indicated that female student athletes’ initiation activities encompassed discrete stages as they moved from team newcomers to accepted team members. Of particular concern is the direct and indirect role of alcohol in these events and the health and behavioral risks.

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Rory J. Mack, Jeff D. Breckon, Paul D. O’Halloran, and Joanne Butt

Clear reporting of the counseling approach (and theoretical underpinning) applied by sport psychologists is often missing, with a tendency to focus on intervention content rather than therapeutic processes and relationship building. Well-defined psychotherapies such as motivational interviewing (MI) can help fill this void and provide an underpinning counseling approach (in an athlete-centered manner) as a framework for delivering interventions such as psychological-skills training (PST). This article describes the role of MI as a framework on which PST sport psychology interventions can be mapped and delivered. The paper presents an athlete case study to explain the role of MI at each phase of the interaction. Robust, well-defined applications of MI in sport require further research, although evidence from other psychological domains suggests that it can be successfully blended into sporting contexts.

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Minjung Kim, Brent D. Oja, Han Soo Kim, and Ji-Hyoung Chin

-athletes improve their school satisfaction and well-being by examining academic psychological capital (PsyCap) and student-athlete engagement. Similar to past sport management scholars who utilized positive psychology principles to improve sport stakeholders’ well-being (e.g.,  Doyle et al., 2016 ; Kim, Kim

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Grace Yan, Ann Pegoraro, and Nicholas M. Watanabe

’ activism. In the literature, athletesengagement with social issues through the use of digital platforms has already garnered attention from scholars, with their analytical focus primarily placed on the artifacts of content created by athletes and their sociopolitical positions ( Gill, 2016 ; Schmittel

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Thomas Curran, Andrew P. Hill, Nikos Ntoumanis, Howard K. Hall, and Gareth E. Jowett

Research adopting self-determination theory (SDT) supports a mediation model whereby coach motivational styles (autonomy support and interpersonal control) predict athletes’ engagement and disaffection in youth sport via the satisfaction and frustration of psychological needs (autonomy, competence, and relatedness). Our study extends this research by examining SDT’s mediation model longitudinally with three waves of data. Two hundred fifty-two youth sports participants (M age = 12.98; SD = 1.84; range = 11–17; female n = 67) completed measures of study variables at the start, middle, and end of a competitive soccer season. Cross-lagged path analyses revealed that associations between the two coach motivational styles and athletes’ engagement were mediated by psychological need satisfaction. Furthermore, a positive reciprocal association between psychological need satisfaction and engagement emerged over time. This study therefore supports the temporal assumptions underpinning SDT’s mediation model but, importantly, evidences a mutually reinforcing interplay between athletes’ psychological needs and their engaged behavior.

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Justine Chatterton, Trent A. Petrie, Keke L. Schuler, and Camilo Ruggero

We tested Petrie and Greenleaf’s psychosocial model in relation to male athletes’ bulimic symptomatology. Through structural equation modeling, we cross-sectionally examined the direct and indirect effects of general and sport-specific appearance pressures, internalization, body satisfaction, drive for muscularity, negative affect, and dietary restraint on bulimic symptomatology. Participants were U.S. male collegiate athletes (N = 698; M age = 19.87 years) representing 17 sports. With minor respecifications, the model had acceptable fit, and the psychosocial variables explained 48% of the bulimic symptomatology variance. Although all variable paths were significant, sport pressures, such as from coaches and teammates about weight, importance of appearance, and looking good in a uniform, were the most salient latent variable. Athletes’ engagement in muscle-building behaviors added uniquely and substantively as well. Our analysis begins to clarify the complex interactions among these psychosocial variables in understanding male athletes’ bulimic symptomatology and provides a base from which to develop prevention programming.

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Lucie Finez and David K. Sherman

Two field studies investigate the role of self in the tendency of athletes to engage in claimed handicapping strategies during training (anticipatively claiming that handicaps may interfere with their performance). Study 1 tested the relationship between trait self-esteem and athletes’ engagement in claimed self-handicapping. As hypothesized, low physical self-esteem athletes claimed more handicaps than high physical self-esteem athletes. For stronger evidence for the causal role of the self, Study 2 tested whether securing athletes’ self-worth through self-affirmation would lead to decreased claimed self-handicapping by using a mixed model design that allows for both between-subjects (affirmation vs. control condition) and within-subject comparisons (before vs. after self-affirmation intervention). Self-affirmed athletes had decreased levels of claimed self-handicapping. Studies 1 and 2 also demonstrate that athletes engage in claimed self-handicapping during training, which could have deleterious effects on subsequent performance. Discussion centers on theoretical implications and applications for coaches, sport teachers, and sport psychologists.