Examining Social Influences on the Sport Commitment of Masters Swimmers

Document Type

Journal Article




Faculty of Computing, Health and Science


School of Exercise and Health Sciences




This article was originally published as: Young, B., & Medic, N. (2011). Examining social influences on the sport commitment of Masters swimmers. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 12(2), 168-175. Original article available here


OBJECTIVES - The purpose was to use the Sport Commitment Model (Scanlan, Russell, Beals, & Scanlan, 2003) to examine social influences and the specific social agents/sources that foster a resolve to continue sport. DESIGN - Cross-sectional survey. METHODS - Masters swimmers (n = 424; M age = 54.0; 220 m, 204 f) completed a survey (Wilson et al., 2004) assessing perceptions of 2 commitment types, social support and constraints relating to 8 sources in their social environment, and perceptions of 4 non-social determinants (enjoyment, personal investments, involvement opportunities, involvement alternatives). RESULTS - In Analysis 1, only scores for support and constraints relating to each social source were entered into simultaneous regression models for functional (R2 = .11, p < .01) and obligatory commitment (R2 = .39, p < .001), separately. Critical social influence variables were identified, advanced to Analysis 2, and entered simultaneously with 4 non-social determinants into regression models for each commitment type. Enjoyment (β = .42), personal investments (.28), social constraints from own children (.15), and investment alternatives (−.12) (all ps < .05) predicted functional commitment (R2 = .57, p < .001). Involvement opportunities (β = .23), involvement alternatives (.23), social constraints from spouse (.24), own children (.19), and training partners (.13), and social support from health professionals (−.15) (all ps ≤ .05) explained obligatory commitment (R2 = .47, p < .001). CONCLUSION - When designing interventions to sustain participation, subsets of Masters athletes reporting a broad social network would benefit from a focus on reducing pressures from spouse, children, and training mates, while heightening support from health practitioners.




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