Contexts, Motivation, and Coaching Behaviours – A Self-Determination Theory Perspective on Coach-Athlete Relationships

Title: Contexts, Motivation, and Coaching Behaviours – A Self-Determination Theory Perspective on Coach-Athlete Relationships
Authors: Rocchi, Meredith
Date: 2016
Abstract: Based in Self-Determination Theory (SDT), the overall objective of this thesis was to explore how the coaching context, coach psychological needs, and coach motivation influenced coaches’ interpersonal behaviours when they interacted with their athletes, and how these interpersonal behaviours impacted athletes’ psychological needs and motivation in sport. This objective was achieved through a series of 10 studies, looking at different samples of coaches and athletes, divided into four manuscripts. First, there was a need to create a measure that captured both perceptions of others’, as well as self-reports of the six interpersonal behaviours according to SDT (autonomy-support, competence-support, relatedness-support, autonomy-thwarting, competence-thwarting, and relatedness-thwarting). As such, in Manuscript #1, the Interpersonal Behaviours Questionnaire (IBQ) was created and validated as a general measure of perceptions of other people’s interpersonal behaviours (Study 1 N = 534 students; Study 2 N = 351 students) and as a self-report of interpersonal behaviours used in general (Study 3 N = 607 students). In Manuscript #2, the validity of the measure was extended to include the sport context by testing the scale with coaches and athletes. Specifically, Study 1 (N = 239 athletes) validated the measure with a sample of athletes reporting on their coaches’ behaviours, and Study 2 (N = 240 coaches) looked at coaches’ reports of their own behaviours in their interactions with their athletes. Overall, the results of these five studies provided support for the factor structure and validity of the IBQ as a measure of perceived and self-reported interpersonal behaviours in both the general context, as well as sport. Next, Manuscript #3 explored the antecedents of coaches’ reported interpersonal behaviours. Specifically, Study 1 (N = 56 coaches) looked at the coaching context in order to identify the factors that had the largest impact on coaches’ experiences. In Study 2 (N = 310 coaches), the relationship between coaches’ psychological needs, motivation for coaching, and interpersonal behaviours was explored to confirm the sequence occurred as would be expected according to SDT. Finally, in Study 3 (N = 225 coaches), the influence of the contextual factors on coaches’ psychological needs, motivation, and interpersonal behaviours was examined. Overall, the results supported that coaches in a supportive context experienced increased need satisfaction, higher autonomous motivation for coaching, and were more likely to engage in supportive interpersonal behaviours with their athletes; while coaches in a thwarting context experienced increased need frustration, higher controlled motivation, and were more likely to engage in thwarting interpersonal behaviours. Finally, Manuscript #4 explored the outcomes of coaches’ interpersonal behaviours. First, Study 1 (N = 180 athletes) looked at athletes’ perceptions of their coaches’ behaviours and how their perceptions impacted psychological needs and motivation in sport. Lastly, Study 2 (N = 278 athletes; N = 53 coaches) explored whether coaches’ self-reports of their interpersonal behaviours were in line with their athletes’ same perceptions of these behaviours, and explored the factors that were related to whether coaches and athletes were in agreement. These last two studies found that supportive interpersonal behaviours promoted need satisfaction and autonomous motivation for athletes; while thwarting interpersonal behaviours promoted need frustration and controlled motivation for athletes. Overall, this thesis helped extend the existing research in motivational psychology and helped address some important limitations.
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -