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Sport Science Review

The Journal of National Institute for Sport Research

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Perceived Motivational Climate and Team Cohesion in Adolescent Athletes

Thelma Horn1 / Megan Byrd1 / Eric Martin1 / Christine Young1

Department of Kinesiology and Health, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, USA1

Department of Kinesiology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA2

This content is open access.

Citation Information: Sport Science Review. Volume 21, Issue 3-4, Pages 25–48, ISSN (Online) 2069-7244, ISSN (Print) 2066-8732, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/v10237-012-0009-3, August 2012

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Perceived Motivational Climate and Team Cohesion in Adolescent Athletes

This study was conducted to determine whether adolescent athletes' perceptions of their team's level and type of cohesion would be related to, or differ as a function of, their perceptions of their team's motivational climate. This hypothesized link was assessed using both group comparison and multivariate correlational analyses. Study participants (N = 351 adolescent athletes) were recruited from sports camps conducted for high school-aged athletes at universities, colleges, and other sport facilities throughout the United States. Athletes completed questionnaires to assess perceived coach-initiated motivational climate (PMCSQ-2) and perceived team cohesion (GEQ). Based on their scores on perceived motivational climate, athletes were divided into four climate type groups: Low Task/Low Ego; Low Task/High Ego; High Task/Low Ego; High Task/High Ego. MANOVA comparisons revealed that athletes in both high task groups (High Task/Low Ego and High Task/High Ego) exhibited higher perceptions of all forms of group cohesion. Canonical correlation analyses verified the primary link between a task-oriented team climate and high levels of group cohesion but also revealed some positive aspects of an ego-oriented climate. The obtained results revealed that a coach-initiated task-oriented climate is most strongly linked to high levels of perceived team cohesion. However, elements of an ego-oriented climate can also be positively associated with high levels of team cohesiveness provided they are accompanied by selected components of a mastery climate.

Keywords: team cohesion; perceived motivational climate; adolescents; coaching behavior; group dynamics

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