Term of Award

Spring 2015

Degree Name

Master of Science in Kinesiology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Health and Kinesiology

Committee Chair

Brandonn Harris

Committee Member 1

Jody Langdon

Committee Member 2

Daniel Czech


Self-efficacy plays a significant role in influencing sport performance (Moritz, et al., 2000) and has been shown to be a stronger predictor of sport performance compared to anxiety, perceived control, and one’s personal goals (Feltz & Lirg, 2001). The use of motivational general-mastery (MG-M) imagery has been shown to increase self-efficacy among athletic populations (O, et al., 2014); however, there is a paucity of research regarding the influence of imagery, particularly individualized MG-M imagery, on the self-efficacy of youth athletes specifically. Thus, the purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of an individualized MG-M imagery intervention on the self-efficacy and MG-M imagery use of youth gymnasts (Mage = 10.40). A single-subject, ABA design spanning seven total weeks was employed with five youth gymnasts who competed at a level six or above, as sanctioned by USA Gymnastics, and who had at least one year of competitive experience. Participants received individualized MG-M imagery scripts and engaged in guided imagery sessions along with independent imagery practice. Measures assessed athletes’ MG-M imagery use, imagery ability, and self-efficacy specific to training. Visual inspection of the graphed data indicated improvements in self-efficacy from baseline through the intervention for one of the five participants. Effect sizes were also used to evaluate the magnitude of changes in mean and variability among phases. Both self-efficacy and imagery use scores decreased in variability, evidencing more stability from baseline to the intervention phase for two out of the five participants for self-efficacy and four of the five participants for imagery use. Implications from this study provide direction for practitioners and researchers regarding the development and implementation of MG-M imagery interventions in order to increase youth athletes’ self-efficacy and imagery use.