Date of Award

January 2015

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Exercise and Sport Science

First Advisor

James M. Larkin

Department Affiliation

Exercise and Sport Science

Second Advisor

Jonathan S. Gore

Department Affiliation

Psychology

Third Advisor

Joel Cormier

Department Affiliation

Exercise and Sport Science

Abstract

This study examined the relationship between attributional style and perceived coaching behaviors in collegiate cross-country/track and field athletes in the USA and Ireland. Participants included seventy-three collegiate athletes (Ireland: n = 24 male, n = 18 female, mean ± SD age: 20.39 ± 1.61 years. USA: n = 9 male, n = 22 female, mean ± SD age: 21.02 ± 2.18 years). Participants completed the Sport Attributional Style Scale (SASS; Hanrahan et al., 1989) and the Leadership Scale for Sport (LSS; Chelladurai & Selah, 1980) to assess attributional style and perceived coaching behaviors. Explanatory pessimism, total internality, stability, and globality were calculated from the SASS for both countries. Total dimension scores for five coaching behaviors (training/instruction, democratic, autocratic, social, and positive feedback) were calculated from the LSS. Significant differences were not found between countries for attribution dimensions (p > .05). Mean explanatory pessimism was 111.29 ±13.2 and 106.42 ± 10.7 for Ireland- and US-based athletes respectively (p = .948; p > .05). A significant difference was found for perceived democratic behavior between countries (p = .0006; p < .05). Significant positive correlations (p < .05) were found in the Ireland group for training/instruction and stability, and in the USA group for social and stability, and positive feedback and stability. Significant negative correlations (p < .05) were found in the Ireland group for democratic and internality, and autocratic and stability. Significant between-country differences (p < .05) were found for democratic and internality, autocratic and stability, and positive feedback and stability. Marginal between-country differences (p < .10) were seen for training/instruction and stability, training/instruction and globality, and autocratic and internality. Ireland-based athletes had higher perceptions of democratic behaviors than US-based athletes. There were no differences in attributional dimension scores between countries. Significant differences between countries for relationships between coaching behaviors and attribution dimensions existed.

References: Chelladurai & Selah, 1980, Hanrahan et al., 1989

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