Exploring the relationship between sociometric status and peer interactive behaviour in youth sport

Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

2012 Canadian Society for Psychomotor Learning and Sport Psychology National Conference


Canadian Society for Psychomotor Learning and Sport Psychology


Halifax, NS, Canada

Publication Date



In 2003, Smith suggested in an influential review paper that behavioural observation and sociometry were two potentially useful but under-utilized methods for the study of peers in youth sport. Despite this call, the methods used to study peers in sport remain largely focused on athletes' perceptions through questionnaires and interviews (Murphy-Mills, Bruner, Erickson, & Côté, 2011). Thus, the purpose of this project was to examine sociometric status, sport competence, and peer interactive behaviour in a youth sport context using an observational coding system. Female volleyball players (N = 29; Mage = 16; SD = 1.39) from three competitive teams completed the sport competence and peer connection inventories (Vierimaa, Erickson, Côté, & Gilbert, in press), and each team was videotaped during three practices. An observational coding system comprised of seven categories was developed and used to code athlete behaviours in a continuous, time-based manner and this data was compared across teams and sociometric status groups. Consistent with past research, popular athletes received significantly higher (p < .05) peer ratings of sport competence. Behavioural profiles were constructed for each sociometric status group, which revealed behavioural variation between groups in multiple categories (e.g., prosocial behaviour and overall sociability). Results will be presented in greater detail and implications for future research and practice will be discussed.

This document is currently not available here.