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A proposed model of perceived motivationally-relevant social agent influence during athlete development.

McCann, Bryan James Alexander

Authors

Bryan James Alexander McCann



Contributors

Paul McCarthy
Supervisor

Katrina Forbes-McKay
Supervisor

Abstract

This thesis aimed to extend knowledge of the perceived motivationally-relevant influences of coaches, parents and peers during athlete development in sport. In doing so this thesis addressed existing limitations in research to date exploring social agent motivationally-relevant influences. The thesis employed a mixed-methods methodology, whereby the findings from all studies contributed to answering the thesis’ aims. Study 1 retrospectively explored perceptions of coach, parent and peer motivational influence across athlete development. Four investment stage football players (M age = 18.5 years, SD = 0.6) with an average of 13 (SD = 1.4) years footballing experience, and four of their parents, were interviewed to investigate their perceptions of coach, parent and peer motivationally-relevant influence during the athletes’ sampling, specialising and investment stages of development. Inductive analysis of the interview transcripts identified five categories of perceived social agent motivationally-relevant influence that were consistent amongst each social agent and across each development stage. Each social agent was perceived by participants to play a role in each of the following motivationally-relevant categories of social agent influence: relationship factors, interpersonal interactions, support for development, support for performance, and feedback and evaluation. The categories were somewhat supportive and reflective of those outlined in other models of motivationally-relevant social agent influence, and the categories were configured into a proposed model. Study 2a aimed to determine the structural nature of the proposed model of perceived motivationally-relevant social agent influence in sport, specifically to determine whether social agents were perceived to provide independent or combined influences. Two hundred and twenty-nine athletes from a wide range of sports, and representing either the sampling, specialising or investment stages of athlete development, participated in the study. Participants completed a range of psychometric measure subscales, adapted to reflect each of the three social agents, and which had been identified as relating to the categories of perceived motivationally-relevant social agent influence within the model proposed in Study 1. Using confirmatory factor analysis methods, a range of structural models were compared to determine which best fit the collected data regarding the perceived motivationally-relevant social agent influences in sport. The model which best fit the data consisted of 18 variables demonstrating that coaches, parents and peers had distinct perceived motivationally-relevant influences across 6 categories, including the splitting of the interpersonal interactions category into two distinct variables: relationships, conflict, conflict resolution, support for development, support for performance, and feedback and evaluation. Study 2a demonstrated that within, the context of the proposed model of perceived motivationally-relevant social agent influence, coaches, parents and peers have distinct but similar categories of influence. Study 2b aimed to extend the findings of Studies 1 and 2a by exploring differences in perceptions of the social agent motivationally-relevant influence between participants in the sampling, specialising and investment developmental stages. The data from the same 229 participants from Study 2a was used to explore differences between participants in each developmental stage in relation to each category of perceived motivational influence. Results identified some significant differences between developmental stages, with coaches in particular perceived to have larger motivationally-relevant influences amongst athletes in the sampling stage than those in the specialising and investment stages. The findings of Study 2b also suggested that some variables of perceived social agent motivationally-relevant influence in sport within the proposed model may not have accurately reflected the underlying constructs for some social agents, such as perceived relationship quality, support for development and support for performance with parents, or perceived conflict with the coach. In line with the mixed methods methodology, the discussion chapter considered the findings from all studies within the thesis to clarify the proposed model of perceived motivationally-relevant social agent influence during athlete development. The final model was proposed to consist of 18 latent variables representing coach, parent and peer influences in each of the following categories: relationship factors, negative interactions, positive interactions, support for development, support for performance, and feedback and evaluation. The thesis concluded with a critical consideration of this proposed model within the context of existing literature and proposals for future research directions and applied implications.

Citation

MCCANN, B.J.A. 2019. A proposed model of perceived motivationally-relevant social agent influence during athlete development. Robert Gordon University [online], PhD thesis. Available from: https://openair.rgu.ac.uk

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Aug 12, 2019
Publicly Available Date Aug 12, 2019
Keywords Training motivation; Performance motivation; Athlete development; Sport development
Public URL https://rgu-repository.worktribe.com/output/346705

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