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Examination of Social Influence Toward Need Satisfaction of High School Student-Athletes

Michael Fraina, Donna Pastore, Dawn Anderson-Butcher, Tarkington Newman


This study explored the independent and interactive effects of coach and peer influence on psychological need satisfaction (i.e., autonomy, competence, relatedness) among high school student-athletes from urban communities. Male and female student-athletes participating in high school sport (n = 136) completed a paper-pencil survey related to their perceptions of autonomy, competence, and relatedness, and the degree of social support received from their coaches and peers. Three hierarchical regression analyses for each psychological need were conducted. The greatest amount of variability in autonomy was predicted by coach autonomy support (R2 change = .275). The set of demographic variables (i.e., gender, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, type of sport) predicted the greatest amount of variability in competence (R2 change = .184). The largest amount of variability in relatedness was predicted by peer relatedness support (R2 change = .181). Among the three models, only relatedness was significantly predicted by the interaction of coach relatedness support and peer relatedness support (R2 change = .037, p = .003). This study sheds light on independent and interactive relationships among coaches and peers and their connections to need satisfaction.

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motivation; athletes; coaches; peers; self-determination

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