The Effects of Autonomy-Supportive Coaching, Need Satisfaction, and Self-Perceptions on Initiative and Identity in Youth Swimmers

J. Douglas Coatsworth, David E. Conroy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study tested a sequential process model linking youth sport coaching climates (perceived coach behaviors and perceived need satisfaction) to youth self-perceptions (perceived competence and global self-esteem) and youth development outcomes (initiative, identity reflection, identity exploration). A sample of 119 youth between the ages of 10 and 18 who participated in a community-directed summer swim league completed questionnaires over the course of the 7-week season. Results indicated that coaches' autonomy support, particularly via process-focused praise, predicted youth competence need satisfaction and relatedness need satisfaction in the coaching relationship. Youth competence need satisfaction predicted self-esteem indirectly via perceived competence. Finally, self-esteem predicted identity reflection, and perceived competence predicted both identity reflection and initiative. Effects of age, sex, and perceptions of direct contact with the coach were not significant. Findings suggest that the quality of the coaching climate is an important predictor of the developmental benefits of sport participation and that one pathway by which the coaching climate has its effect on initiative and identity reflection is through developing youth self-perceptions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)320-328
Number of pages9
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Volume45
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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