Date of Award

2010

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science Honours

School

School of Psychology and Social Sciences

Faculty

Faculty of Computing, Health and Science

First Advisor

Craig Harms

Abstract

The purpose of this research was to investigate whether athletes at the beginning (BTG) of their transition from junior to senior sport, had different transitional experiences to those in the middle (MTG). One hundred and forty eight male and female elite athletes aged between 14 and 18 years, from a variety of sports in both city and country locations of Western Australia, were surveyed. Two test instruments were used; the newly developed Swedish, Transitional Monitoring Survey (TMS), and the Athletic Identity Measurement Scales (AIMS). Univariate descriptive statistics, One Way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), and reliability measures were used to analyse three research aims in this quantitative between groups study. ANOVA of the responses to 96 Likert style questions of the TMS survey revealed 15 significant differences between groups. Differences included that the younger BTG had more trouble combining sport and school, perceived less family support and required more help with improving technical skills than the older MTG. Athletes in the BTG were significantly less adjusted as an athlete, and had a significantly lower Athletic Identity (AI) than the MTG. Results were comparable to those reported by Franck and Tuovila's (2008), although contextual and sampling differences were noted. Results may help Australian coaches, parents and administrators in better understanding the needs of their athletes, recognising their position in the transition (BTG or MTG), and what strategies might best resolve any transitional barriers or demands the athletes were encountering. Future research on gender, a variety of sports types, and age group differences was recommended, as was the continued reliability testing of the emergent TMS test instrument. Limitations reported included the use of a constrained variety of sports, a male dominated sample, and how more similarities than differences were reported.

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