A self-determination theory-based investigation of life skills development in youth sport

LORCAN CRONIN, PAUL ELLISON, Justine Allen, EMMA HUNTLEY, LAURA JOHNSON, MARIA-CHRISTINA KOSTELI, Anna Hollis, DAVID MARCHANT

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

Abstract

This study investigated if basic need satisfaction and frustration mediated the associations between autonomy-supportive and controlling coaching behaviors and participants’ development of eight different life skills in youth sport. British sports participants (N = 309, Mage = 14.71) completed measures assessing the study variables. Correlational analyses showed that autonomy-supportive coaching behaviors were positively associated with the satisfaction of participants’ three basic needs (autonomy, competence, and relatedness) and their development of all eight life skills, whereas controlling coaching behaviors were only positively related to the frustration of participants’ three basic needs. Mediational analyses revealed that satisfaction of all three basic needs combined (total need satisfaction) mediated the associations between autonomy-supportive coaching behaviors and participants’ development of the eight life skills. Relatedness satisfaction mediated the associations between autonomy-supportive coaching behaviors and participants’ development of all eight life skills except for goal setting; autonomy satisfaction mediated the associations between autonomy-supportive coaching behaviors and participants’ time management skills; and competence satisfaction mediated the associations between autonomy-supportive coaching behaviors and participants’ goal setting and emotional skills. Based on such findings, coaches should look to display autonomy-supportive behaviors that help to satisfy participants’ three basic psychological needs and promote their life skills development in sport.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-39
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Early online date21 Jan 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Jan 2022

Keywords

  • psychosocial skills
  • self-determination theory
  • youth sport

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