Collective goals and shared tasks: Interdependence structure and perceptions of individual sport team environments

M. B. Evans, M. A. Eys

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Across two studies, we tested the proposition that interdependence structures (i.e., task interaction among teammates during competition, competition against teammates, presence of a collective outcome) influence interdependence perceptions among teammates as well as perceptions of group cohesion, competitiveness, and satisfaction. Study 1 was a paper-and-pencil survey completed by 210 individual sport athletes from 12 univ ersity- and college-level teams. Multiple mediation analyses demonstrated that participants who had to work alongside teammates during competition reported increased interdependence perceptions that were, in turn, associated with increased cohesion and satisfaction as well as decreased competitiveness. There were no differences according to whether participants competed in the same event as all of their teammates or not. Study 2 involved a weekly e-mail survey with 17 university-level individual sport athletes who reported interdependence perceptions on a continual basis over the course of their competitive season. Interdependence perceptions were higher during weeks that were close in time to competitions with a collective group outcome. These studies reveal how interdependence structures shape the group environment and support applied efforts that consider ways to structure teammate interdependencies in ways to optimize group functioning and promote member satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e139-e148
JournalScandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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