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Maureen R. Weiss, Lindsay E. Kipp, Alison Phillips Reichter, Sarah M. Espinoza and Nicole D. Bolter

matched comparison group at postseason on life skills learning and transfer? In this article, we focus on methods, results, and interpretation of the longitudinal component (question 1). This study aim extended past evaluation research in several important ways. First, our study design was compatible with

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Maureen R. Weiss, Lindsay E. Kipp, Alison Phillips Reichter and Nicole D. Bolter

-appropriate measures, both quantitative and qualitative methods, triangulation of data from multiple sources, and process and implementation variables. Gould and Carson ( 13 ) echoed Petitpas et al’s call for more rigorous evaluation research “ . . . there is a special need for longitudinal evaluations that track

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Daniel Gould

say they are doing good work. Instead, they need to show that they are good stewards of funds and demonstrate that they produce the promised youth outcomes. The problem is that most sport organizations lack the capacity and knowledge to conduct evaluation research. Sport scientists can provide this

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Karen S. Castagno

The purpose was to describe the changes occurring in athletes with and without mental retardation (MR) during participation in a Special Olympics Unified Sports program. The method was evaluation research. Participants were 58 males (24 with MR, 34 without MR) in Grades 6-8. Before- and after-program data were collected on the Self-Esteem Inventory (Zigler, 1994), the Adjective Checklist (Siperstein, 1980), the Friendship Activity Scale (Siperstein, 1980), and the Basketball Sports Skills Assessment (Special Olympics, 1992). Athletes (Special Olympics Athletes and Partners) participated in an after-school basketball program for 8 weeks, 1.5 hr per session, three times per week. Dependent t tests revealed that each group scored significantly higher after participation in the program than before on all tests.

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John G.H. Dunn and Nicholas L. Holt

This study examined 27 male intercollegiate ice hockey players’ subjective responses to a personal-disclosure mutual-sharing team building activity (cf. Crace & Hardy, 1997; Yukelson, 1997) delivered at a national championship tournament. Athletes participated in semistructured interviews 2 to 4 weeks after the team building meetings. Results revealed that the meetings were emotionally intense, and some participants described their involvement in these meetings as a significant life experience. Participants perceived certain benefits associated with the meetings including enhanced understanding (of self and others), increased cohesion (closeness and playing for each other), and improved confidence (confidence in teammates and feelings of invincibility). Results are discussed in terms of their potential to guide future applied evaluation research of team building programs in sport.

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L. Kristi Sayers, Jo E. Cowden and Claudine Sherrill

The purpose of the study was to analyze parents’ perceptions of their participation in a university-directed, parent-implemented, home-based pediatric strength intervention program as (a) one approach to evaluating the effectiveness of a program conducted over a 4-year period with families of infants and toddlers with Down syndrome and (b) a means of deriving guidelines for future early intervention programs. Participants were 22 parents from 11 families of children with Down syndrome; the children ranged in age from 6 to 42 months. Participatory evaluation research, semistructured audio recorded home interviews, and qualitative content analysis were used. The results indicated that the parents (a) perceived themselves as being empowered to implement the program, (b) perceived their expectations about improved motor development of their children had been met, and (c) perceived the program was worthwhile. The parents’ perceptions provided meaningful evaluation data that enabled the development of guidelines for future pediatric strength intervention programs.

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Robin S. Vealey

This decade has been marked by the development of several approaches to psychological skills training (PST). To assess current trends in PST in order to ascertain if consumers’ needs are being met, a content analysis of PST approaches published in books in North America between 1980 and 1988 was conducted with regard to target populations, content areas, and format characteristics. Based on the content analysis, six needs representing viable future directions for PST are outlined. These needs include targeting youth and coaches in addition to elite athletes, moving beyond basic education into specific implementation procedures, differentiating between psychological skills and methods, adopting a holistic approach based on the interactional paradigm and a personal development model, defining the practice of sport psychology based on the personal development of sport consumers, and facilitating the theory/practice relationship through research-based PST programming and evaluation research.

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Kyriaki Kaplanidou and Christine Vogt

Destinations use sport events to attract participants and spectators, who then hold perceptions of both the sport event and destination. This research aimed to a) understand how active sport tourists perceive the meaning of a sport event experience and b) develop a scale for that meaning. Both aims are studied in a post trip context as evaluative research. Two focus groups were used to understand the meaning of the sport event experience among active sport tourists. Results from the focus groups suggest participants attribute meanings related to organizational, environmental, physical, social, and emotional aspects of the sport event experience. Next, semantic differential items were developed to measure the meaning of a sport event experience in the post trip phase. The items were tested with two different sport event participant samples using surveys. A uni-dimensionsal scale of 11 semantic differential items emerged. These items provide a measure for the evaluative meaning of a sport event experience.

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Lindsay E. Kipp


A signature characteristic of positive youth development (PYD) programs is the opportunity to develop life skills, such as social, behavioral, and moral competencies, that can be generalized to domains beyond the immediate activity. Although context-specific instruments are available to assess developmental outcomes, a measure of life skills transfer would enable evaluation of PYD programs in successfully teaching skills that youth report using in other domains. The purpose of our studies was to develop and validate a measure of perceived life skills transfer, based on data collected with The First Tee, a physical activity-based PYD program.


In 3 studies, we conducted a series of steps to provide content and construct validity and internal consistency reliability for the life skills transfer survey (LSTS), a measure of perceived life skills transfer.


Study 1 provided content validity for the LSTS that included 8 life skills and 50 items. Study 2 revealed construct validity (structural validity) through a confirmatory factor analysis and convergent validity by correlating scores on the LSTS with scores on an assessment tool that measures a related construct. Study 3 offered additional construct validity by reassessing youth 1 year later and showing that scores during both time periods were invariant in factor pattern, loadings, and variances and covariances. Studies 2 and 3 demonstrated internal consistency reliability of the LSTS.


Results from 3 studies provide evidence of content and construct validity and internal consistency reliability for the LSTS, which can be used in evaluation research with youth development programs.

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Daniel Gould, Kenneth Hodge, Linda Petlichkoff and Jeffery Simons

The present investigation examined athletes’ responses to a psychological skills training program spanning a 3-month period. Two studies were conducted to evaluate the degree to which a week-long psychological skills training program changed elite wrestlers’ knowledge, perceived importance, and use of relaxation, visualization/imagery, goal setting, and mental preparation techniques. In Study 1, 18 senior elite wrestlers ranging from 17 to 32 years of age participated in a week-long training camp involving a psychological skills training program and completed assessments immediately before and after camp and again 3 months later. Study 2 was identical to Study 1 except that 33 elite junior wrestlers, ages 14 to 18, were studied. Overall, the results demonstrate that the educational program was effective in changing the athletes’ knowledge, perceived importance, and use of the four psychological skills. MANOVA procedures revealed that the relaxation and visualization/imagery portions of the program were particularly effective, perhaps because they were incorporated into actual on-the-mat practice sessions. The importance of conducting evaluation research and methods of facilitating psychological skills development are discussed.