Testing a Measure of Perceived Sport Control in Student Athletes
Keywords:perceived control, student athletes, sport performance, measurement
Perceived control is a psychological construct related to motivation, performance, and wellbeing. Perceived control has been studied in sport settings; however, this study considers a domain-specific perceived control measure related to athletes' sport performance. In two studies, we tested a novel domain-specific measure of perceived control over sport performance (Perceived Sport Control) adapted from Perry et al.’s (2001) perceived academic control scale. In Study 1, we employed an exploratory factor analysis to test the structure of the perceived sport control measure given its novelty in the sport domain, examined the internal reliability of the measure and how athletes’ perceived sport control and academic control related to each other and demographic variables including age, year of sport eligibility, year of academic program, and hours per week training in their sport. In Study 2, we employed a confirmatory factor analysis to test the PSC measure with a larger sample based on Study 1 results. Study 1 data was collected from a Canadian sample of currently competing university (USports) athletes (N = 74) and Study 2 data was collected from a sample of Canadian and USA postsecondary athletes (N = 200). Study 1 findings supported a two-factor construct for perceived sport control reflecting action- and cognitive-based aspects of control. Factor 1 (action-based Influence) was positively associated with age and Factor 2 (cognitive-based Influence) was positively associated with perceived academic control. In Study 2, a CFA supported the two-factor PSC measure (RMSEA = .055, CFI = .98, TLI = .96, SRMR = .042) and across both studies, the two-factor measure was internally consistent. The universal application of the perceived sport control measure for understanding athletes' perceived control experiences in sport performance and across sport settings, as well as the study implications for sport research are discussed.
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