A conditional process model of children's behavioral engagement and behavioral disaffection in sport based on self-determination theory

Thomas Curran, Andrew P. Hill, Christopher P. Niemiec

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)
136 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The potential benefits of children's engagement in sport for their psychological, social, and physical health are well established. Yet children may also experience psychological and social impairments due, in part, to a variety of detrimental coach behaviors. In the current study, we proposed and tested a conditional process model of children's self-reported behavioral engagement and behavioral disaffection in sport based on self-determination theory. Results from a sample of 245 youth soccer players suggested that structure from coaches related positively to behavioral engagement and negatively to behavioral disaffection, and that these relations were mediated by athletes' basic psychological need satisfaction. Importantly, and in line with our hypotheses, these indirect effects were moderated by autonomy support from coaches, such that the mediation was evident only among those who reported higher levels of autonomy support. These findings underscore the importance of coaches' providing guidance, expectations, and feedback (i.e., structure) in a way that respects athletes' volition (i.e., autonomy support).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-43
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Volume35
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child Behavior
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Psychological
  • Personal Autonomy
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Psychological Tests
  • Soccer
  • Sports

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