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Roberto Buonamano, Alberto Cei, and Antonio Mussino

An important issue facing youth sport researchers is understanding why youth participate in sport programs. Most participation motivation studies have been carried out in the United States and in Anglophone countries such as the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. These studies have identified a fairly consistent set of motivational factors for participation. Starting from this premise, descriptive research on youth participation motivation is reported to verify if, in a Latin country with a sport culture different from Anglophone countries, the same set of motivational factors could be identified. Young athletes (N = 2,598, aged 9–18 years), involved in different sports, completed the modified Italian version of the Participation Motivation Questionnaire (Gill, Gross, & Huddleston, 1983). Factor analyses showed a set of motivational factors fairly consistent with the research conducted in Anglophone countries. Differences were found among participants in relation to gender, age, sport, parents’ educational level, and geographical area.

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Wendy M. Rodgers and Lawrence R. Brawley

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Beth B. Weisenbach and Meghan H. McDonough

Physical activity is associated with psychosocial and physical health benefits for breast cancer survivors. Little is known, however, about survivors’ decision-making processes when considering joining group physical activity programs designed for survivors. Guided by interpretive description methodology (Thorne, 2008), N = 15 breast cancer survivors who were considering or had made the decision to join a dragon boating team were interviewed about their decisions to participate. Four patterns of decision making were identified: searching for a way to care for physical and social needs, taking advantage of opportunities created by breast cancer, dove in with little contemplation, and hesitant to connect with other survivors. Results have implications for understanding decisions to participate in physical activity groups in this population and overcoming challenges to participation.

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Kevin S. Spink

This study examined whether perceptions of team cohesiveness could be used to predict intention to participate during a following season. In Study 1, female participants in recreational ringette teams completed the Group Environment Questionnaire after completing the season. Intention to return for the next season also was assessed via questionnaire. Discriminant function analysis revealed that those intending to return for the next season held significantly greater perceptions of social cohesion. In Study 2, a replication of Study 1 using elite ringette team members, perceptions of social cohesion once again proved to be reliable predictors of intention to participate next season. Elite female athletes who indicated that they would return for another season were most likely to perceive the social cohesiveness with their team as high. Both studies support the conclusion that perceptions of social cohesiveness are positively related to the intention to continue to participate.

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José M. Cancela, Karina Pereira, Irimia Mollinedo, Manuela Ferreira, and Pedro Bezerra

waist-to-hip index was found using the formula “Waist/Hip” ( Luchsinger Cheng, Tang, Schupf, & Mayeux, 2012 ). Participants completed the Participation Motivation Questionnaire for Older Adults (PMQOA), as well as answered questions on demographic information that included age, gender (male and female

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Peter Brodkin and Maureen R. Weiss

This study examined developmental differences in motives for participating in competitive swimming across the lifespan. Six age groupings were chosen based on underlying cognitive criteria identified in the literature: younger and older children, high school/college age, and young, middle, and older adults. Swimmers from YMCAs (N= 100) completed the Participation Motivation Questionnaire modified by D. Gould, Feltz, and Weiss (1985). An exploratory factor analysis identified seven factors: characteristics of competitive swimming, health/fitness, social status, affiliation, energy release, significant others, and fan. A MANOVA on the factor scores revealed a significant age group main effect. Follow-up analyses indicated that characteristics of competitive swimming was rated significantly lower by the older adults while social status was rated significantly higher by older children and high school/college-age swimmers. Significant others was rated significantly higher by children, and fen was rated most important by younger children and older adults. Finally, health/fitness motives were rated highest by young and middle adults and lowest by older children and older adults. Implications of the findings for a cognitive-developmental approach to participation motivation are discussed.

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Robin J. Farrell, Peter R.E. Crocker, Meghan H. McDonough, and Whitney A. Sedgwick

Special Olympics programs provide competitive sport opportunities for athletes with intellectual disabilities. This study investigated athletes’ perceptions of motivation in Special Olympics. Using Self-Determination Theory (SDT) as a guiding framework to explore athletes’ experiences, 38 Special Olympians (21 males and 17 females) from British Columbia, Canada were interviewed. The data suggested that factors that enhanced autonomy, competence, and relatedness were linked to the participants’ motivation in Special Olympics programs. These factors included positive feedback, choice, learning skills, demonstrating ability, friendships, social approval, and fun. Social support from significant others was a key factor related to participation motivation. There was also evidence for the motivating aspects of extrinsic rewards. Motivation was undermined primarily by conflicts with coaches and teammates.

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Gregory S. Kolt, Ruth P. Driver, and Lynne C. Giles

Research on variables that encourage older adults to exercise is limited. This study was carried out to identify the participation motives of older Australians involved in regular exercise and sport. The 815 participants (399 men, 416 women) ranged in age from 55 to 93 years (M = 63.6, SD = 7.8) and were participating in their activities of choice at least once per week. All participants completed the Participation Motivation Questionnaire for Older Adults. The most common exercise/sport activities that participants were involved in were walking, golf, lawn bowls, tennis, and swimming. The most highly reported motives for participation were to keep healthy, liking the activity, to improve fitness, and to maintain joint mobility. Principal-components analysis of the questionnaire revealed 6 factors: social, fitness, recognition, challenge/benefits, medical, and involvement. Analyses of variance showed significant differences in reasons for participation in exercise and sport based on gender, age, education level, and occupation.

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Kimberley A. Klint and Maureen R. Weiss

One of the most important issues facing youth sport researchers and practitioners is an understanding of why children participate in sport programs. The participation motivation research, however, has not been linked to an existing theoretical model. Thus the purpose of this study was to test the notions, based on Harter's (1978, 1981) competence motivation theory, that perceptions of competence are related to particular motives children have for sport participation. Sixty-seven children involved in youth gymnastic programs were administered the physical, social, and cognitive subscales of Harter's (1982) Perceived Competence Scale and a motives for gymnastic participation questionnaire. Discriminant function analyses revealed support for competence motivation theory as a viable explanation for the relationship between competence perceptions and motives for participation in sport. Specifically, children high in perceived physical competence were more motivated by skill development reasons, and gymnasts high in perceived social competence were more motivated by the affiliation aspects of sport when compared to their low perceived competence counterparts.

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Daniel M. Landers, Michael O. Wilkinson, Brad D. Hatfield, and Heather Barber

The causal predominance of performance affecting later cohesiveness that has been shown in previous studies was examined by means of a series of statistical analyses designed to assess influence in a longitudinal panel design. Male students (N = 44) participating in a basketball league were administered cohesiveness and participation motivation scales at early, mid, and late season. In contrast to previous findings, the cross-lagged correlations showed that performance and cohesion were significantly related to each other with no causal predominance of one over the other. With the exception of the friendship measure, the cross-lagged correlations were no longer significant when earlier measures of the effect variable were controlled through partial correlation and path analysis techniques. In contrast to previous research, midseason cohesion, as measured by friendship, was a significant (p < .04) predictor of late season performance. The importance of interpersonal attraction in the recruitment and maintenance of intramural team members is discussed along with the necessity for determining, in future studies, the reliability of cohesiveness measures.