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Understanding enjoyment in youth sport: A developmental perspective

McCarthy, Paul J., JONES, Marc and CLARK-CARTER, David (2008) Understanding enjoyment in youth sport: A developmental perspective. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 9 (2). pp. 142-156. ISSN 14690292

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Abstract or description

Objectives: Historically, the youth sport emotional response literature focused mainly on stress and
enjoyment. Although research on these emotional responses has been significant, no systematic
examination of these responses from a developmental perspective has been undertaken and therefore,
developmental influence and implications for competitive youth sport are largely unknown. To begin to
address this issue, the present study examined the developmental progression of sources of enjoyment
among youth sport participants.
Design: A multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was used to examine the developmental
differences in sources of enjoyment among younger (under 11 years) and older (over 11 years) children
participating in individual and team sports.
Methods: Participants (n = 152) aged 8–15 years were categorized into groups of younger and older
children based on underlying cognitive-developmental criteria. Self-report measures of enjoyment, sources
of enjoyment, perceived sport competence, and task and ego goal orientation were recorded.
Results: Older children reported significantly greater enjoyment and other-referenced competency and
recognition than younger children. Although all sources of enjoyment predicted enjoyment among younger
children, no single source added a unique proportion of variance to the model. Competitive excitement
(CE) and other-referenced competency and recognition significantly predicted enjoyment among older
children. Team sport participants reported significantly greater self-referenced competency (SRC),
affiliation with peers (AP), competitive excitement (CE), positive parental involvement (PPI) and
enjoyment compared with individual sport participants. Finally, aligned with previous research, task
orientation and perceived competence significantly predicted enjoyment.

Item Type: Article
Faculty: Previous Faculty of Health Sciences > Psychology, Sport and Exercise
Depositing User: David CLARK-CARTER
Date Deposited: 10 Dec 2012 10:39
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2023 13:35

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