Youth sport literature contends that the development of self-esteem is influenced by social interactions in the physical domain. However, little research has investigated the role of the peer group in developing perceptions of physical competence and social acceptance. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship, between competence in physical skills and interpersonal competence with peers in a sport setting. Children (N=126) completed measures assessing perceptions of physical competence and peer acceptance» perceptions of success for athletic performance and interpersonal skills, causal attributions for physical performance and interpersonal success» and expectations for future success in these two areas. Teachers' ratings of children's actual physical ability and social skills with peers were also obtained. Canonical correlation analyses indicated a strong relationship (r c = .75) between indices of physical competence and peer acceptance. Children who scored high in actual and perceived physical competence and who made stable and personally controllable attributions for sport performance also scored high in actual and perceived peer acceptance and made stable attributions for successful peer interactions.
Maureen R. Weiss and Susan C. Duncan
Alan L. Smith
This study tested a model describing the relationships among perceptions of peer relationships, physical self-worth, affective responses toward physical activity, and physical activity motivation. The model was grounded in Harter’s (1978,1981a, 1986,1987) theoretical perspective, proposing that perceptions of peer relationships (i.e., friendship, peer acceptance) would predict physical activity motivation via affect and physical self-worth. Adolescents (N = 418, ages 12–15 years) completed a battery of questionnaires that assessed the study variables. Results of structural equation modeling analyses supported the overall model and most of the hypothesized direct and indirect relationships among variables for both female and male samples. Examination of alternative models suggested that some expected relationships might have been suppressed by a high correlation between the friendship and peer-acceptance constructs. However, alternative models also showed that these constructs independently contribute to predicting motivational variables. The results illustrate the importance of peer relationships to adolescent physical activity motivation.
Alan L. Smith, Sarah Ullrich-French, Eddie Walker II, and Kimberly S. Hurley
The purpose of this study was to (a) describe peer relationship profiles of youth sport participants and (b) assess the motivational salience of these profiles by examining profile group differences on sport motivation-related variables. Youth sport camp participants (N = 243) ages 10 to 14 years (M = 11.8, SD = 1.2) completed a multisection questionnaire that contained sport-contextualized measures of perceived friendship quality (positive, conflict), perceived peer acceptance, perceived competence, enjoyment, anxiety, self-presentational concerns, and self-determined motivation. The positive friendship quality, friendship conflict, and peer acceptance responses were cluster-analyzed, yielding five peer relationship profiles that were consistent with expectations based on previous research (i.e., Seidman et al., 1999). Profile differences were obtained for all motivation-related variables and were in theoretically consistent directions. Those young athletes categorized in more adaptive peer relationship profiles had more adaptive motivation-related responses. The findings support theoretical perspectives on social relationships and motivation as well as the efficacy of a person-centered approach to the examination of peer relationships in sport.
Lauren A. Gardner, Christopher A. Magee, and Stewart A. Vella
supported by other research linking perceptions of parental support, quality coach–athlete relationships, peer acceptance, and quality friendships with commitment and continued participation. 11 , 19 – 21 We, therefore, hypothesize that age, sex, competition level, perceived competence, parental support
Maureen R. Weiss and Kirsten M. Frazer
Research on motivation to participate in physical activity has typically been characterized by an assessment of reasons for involvement at a single point in time. This study examined motives for participating, self-perceptions (perceived success, perceived basketball competence, perceived peer acceptance), and enjoyment several times during a sport season relative to player status (Le., amount of playing time). Female basketball players (N = 141) completed measures of participation motivation, perceptions of physical competence and peer acceptance, success, and enjoyment at preseason, midseason, and end of season. Players were classified as starters, primary substitutes, or secondary substitutes by their coaches based on extent of actual playing time. All athletes were similar in their reasons for participating; these included mastery, friends, team atmosphere, and fitness. However, starters and primary substitutes were higher than secondary substitutes in perceptions of success, basketball competence, peer acceptance, and enjoyment at midseason, and starters were higher than primary and secondary substitutes on perceived basketball competence at end of season. These results suggest that positive self-perceptions and affect experienced in the physical domain are related to players ’ opportunities to demonstrate competence in salient achievement areas.
Sandra L. Gibbons and Frank B. Byshakra
Little research has been conducted on the psychosocial outcomes that may occur in adapted populations who participate in Special Olympics. This study examined changes in perceived competence of participants and nonparticipants of a 1 1/2-day Special Olympics track and field meet. Pre- and posttest measures of the physical, cognitive, peer acceptance, and maternal acceptance subscales of the Pictorial Scale of Perceived Competence and Social Acceptance for Young Children were obtained from participants (N=24) and non-participant controls (N=24). A test of homogeneity of variance on pretest scores revealed that both groups were equivalent on the perceived competence and social acceptance measures. A MAHOVA was conducted to compare gain scores on all four measures between the two groups. Results indicated that both groups differed significantly on the perceived physical competence and peer acceptance measures. The stability of gains in perceived competence over time, and further examination of perceived competence and its correlates with adapted populations, were suggested as future directions for research.
Tiffanye M. Vargas-Tonsing, Margaret Flores, and Robbi Beyer
The prevalence of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is between 2%-10% of children (Center for Disease Control, 2003). Participation in organized sports is beneficial to children with ADHD by increasing self-esteem, self-efficacy, peer acceptance, and social skills (Armstrong & Drabman, 2004; Bagwell, Brooke, Pelham, and Hoza, 2001). Little research exists as to preparation for youth sport coaches with regard to coaching athletes with ADHD. The study’s purpose was to investigate coaches’ efficacy beliefs for coaching athletes with ADHD. Two hundred nineteen volunteer coaches completed a questionnaire designed to measure their beliefs. The results showed that overall coaches reported fairly high feelings of efficacy for working with athletes with ADHD. However, results also indicated that coaches reporting experience with athletes with ADHD reported higher efficacy for coaching athletes with ADHD than their less experienced peers. Implications for coaching education include the incorporation of behavior management techniques into course content and the creation of ADHD resources such as weblinks and pamphlets.
Maureen R. Weiss and Alan L. Smith
The purpose of this study was to examine age and gender differences in the quality of sport friendship, assess the relationship between friendship quality and motivation related variables, and obtain additional support for the validity of the Sport Friendship Quality Scale (SFQS; Weiss & Smith, 1999). Tennis players (N = 191, ages 10–18 years) completed the SFQS and other measures salient to the questions of the study. A MANOVA revealed that adolescent athletes ages 14–18 years rated loyalty and intimacy, things in common, and conflict higher than did younger players, ages 10–13 years, who in turn rated companionship and pleasant play higher. Girls rated self-esteem enhancement and supportiveness, loyalty and intimacy, and things in common higher than did boys, who rated conflict higher. Regression analysis indicated that companionship and pleasant play, conflict resolution, and things in common predicted higher tennis enjoyment and commitment. The collective findings—confirmation of the SFQS six-factor structure, relationships between sport friendship quality dimensions and peer acceptance, and relationships of sport friendship quality dimensions with Harter’s (1988) close friendship measure—support the validity of the SFQS.
Jacqueline D. Goodway and Mary E. Rudisill
This study was conducted to determine the influence of a motor skill intervention (MSI) program on the perceived competence and social acceptance of African American preschoolers who are at risk of school failure/developmental delay. Two groups of preschoolers enrolled in a compensatory prekindergarten program participated in a 12-week intervention. The motor skill intervention (MSI) group received an MSI program, while the control group (C) received the regular prekindergarten program. All children completed Harter’s Pictorial Scale of Perceived Competence and Social Acceptance prior to and following the 12-week program. The results indicated that all children, regardless of group, reported high perceived physical and cognitive competence and high perceived maternal and peer acceptance. Additionally, the MSI group reported significantly higher perceived physical competence scores after receiving the MSI program. The MSI group also reported higher perceived physical competence than the C group on postintervention scores. No gender differences were found. It was concluded that perceived competence and social acceptance were enhanced by participation in an MSI program.
Alan L. Smith
physical competence to be strongly connected to peer acceptance and to be a salient pathway to popularity ( Chase & Dummer, 1992 ; Evans & Roberts, 1987 ; Ommundsen, Gundersen, & Mjaavatn, 2010 ; Weiss & Duncan, 1992 ). Thus, competence and peer acceptance can be mutually reinforcing in ways expected to