Measuring and maintaining the quality of the coach-athlete relationship
2014-11-20T16:25:43Z (GMT) by
This thesis is comprised of four studies. The first study developed longer versions of the Coach-Athlete Relationship Questionnaire (CART-Q), both its direct perspective (Jowett & Ntoumanis, 2004) and meta-perspective (Jowett, in press) Instruments that measure the quality of a dyadic relationship were reviewed and items relevant to the coach-athlete relationship were highlighted. Ev1dence of the content validity of selected items was provided via expert panels and statistical support for the criterion and construct validity of the new measure was demonstrated using a sample of 693 participants (383 athletes and 310 coaches). Ev1dence was also found for the internal consistency/reliability of the longer versions of the CART-Q. Study 2 involved a systematic review of effective relationship enhancement programmes in order to identify their underlying strategies. Programmes were analysed based on the elements Within Jowett's (2005b, 2007) 3+ I C conceptualisation of the coach-athlete relationship. Therefore, factors that could potentially promote closeness, commitment, complementanty and co-orientation within the coach-athlete relationship were identified. Recommendations are made for implementing these strategies within any programme that aims to enhance relationships in sport. The need to develop relationship enhancement programmes in sport, which are based on sound scientific theory and research evidence, was a key finding of this systematic review. Study 3 is an explorative qualitative study into the maintenance strategies that are used by coaches and athletes. Twelve one-to-one interviews with 6 coaches and 6 athletes from team and individual sports were conducted. Content analysis revealed a number of main categories and sub-categories The main seven categories were: Conflict Management, Openness, Motivational, Positivity, Advice, Support and Social Networks These categories represented mutually exclusive maintenance strategies and formulated the COMPASS model of relationship maintenance in sport. The fourth and final study employed the COMPASS model to develop a measure of the use of maintenance strategies within the coach-athlete relationship (coach-athlete relationship mamtenance questionnaire: CARM-Q). A pool of 50 items were generated based on relevant theory and research, including the data gained in Study 3. The content validity of these items was established using an expert panel. The items were then administered to 251 participants (146 athletes and 105 coaches). Principal Components Analysis (PCA) was used to identify the latent underlying structure. A 28 item measure was created with 7 sub-scales measuring; conflict management, openness, motivational, preventative, assurance, support and social network strategies. These seven factors comprise the revised COMPASS model of relationship maintenance in sport. Evidence of the content, construct and criterion validity, as well as the internal consistency/reliability, of the CARM-Q was found. A series of regression analyses also revealed that one can predict a relatively high amount of the variance in perceptions of closeness, commitment and complementarity based on the use of maintenance strategies. As a whole, this thesis makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the quality of a coach-athlete relationship and the ways in which this can be maintained.