Faculty Publications

Title

Competitive-level differences on sport commitment among high school- and collegiate-level athletes

Document Type

Article

Keywords

developmental differences, motivation, social influence

Journal/Book/Conference Title

International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology

Volume

13

Issue

3

First Page

286

Last Page

303

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine competitive-level differences on psychological and social constructs related to sport commitment as a means to better understand which factors enhance commitment depending on playing level. Considerable research has consistently shown that enjoyment, investments, attractive alternatives, involvement opportunities, social constraints (SCs), and social support are important predictors of sport commitment; however, competitive-level differences in the psychological desire and resolve to continue and their predictors have only begun to be tapped. A total of 284 high school- and 207 college-level, male and female, athletes competing in several sports participated. Collegiate athletes reported significantly higher perceptions of investments, costs, involvement opportunities, perceived competence, social support, and performance-motivational climate than did high school athletes. In contrast, high school athletes reported significantly greater perceptions of parental SCs and mastery-motivational climate. Playing status differences for high school athletes also emerged; however, the only differences that emerged between collegiate athletes with differing playing status were in regard to social influence constructs. Descriptive discriminant function analysis revealed that commitment constructs differentiated high school non-players from the other five groups of athletes. Competitive-level findings appear to be consistent with past research in relation to sport commitment constructs. Future sport commitment research should continue exploring differences and/or changes in these constructs as athletes progress through various competitive levels.

Original Publication Date

1-1-2015

DOI of published version

10.1080/1612197X.2014.958517

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