Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

PLoS ONE

Volume

13

Issue

1

Editor

Martinek T

Publication Date

1-30-2018

DOI

10.1371/journal.pone.0191936

Abstract

Objectives

Competence, confidence, connection, and character are regarded as outcomes of positive youth development (PYD) in sport. However, the specific athlete behaviors associated with different PYD profiles are not well understood. Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between athletes' observed behavior during sport competitions and their perceptions of PYD outcomes.

Design

Cross-sectional study with systematic behavioral observation.

Method

Sixty-seven youth athletes were observed during basketball games near the end of their season, and the content of their behavior was systematically coded. Athletes also completed measures of the 4 Cs (competence, confidence connection, and character). A person- centered analysis approach was used to examine the relationship between PYD profiles and observed behavior.

Results

A cluster analysis identified two homogenous groups of athletes characterized by relatively high and low perceptions of confidence, connection, and character. A MANCOVA revealed that after controlling for gender and years of playing experience, the high Cs group engaged in more frequent sport communication with their coaches. Conclusions Results re-affirm the critical role that coaches play in the developmental experiences of young athletes, and highlight the importance of contextual factors of the youth sport environment.

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