Term of Award

Spring 2019

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 Sciences and Kinesiology

Committee Chair

Brandonn Harris

Committee Member 1

Jody Langdon

Committee Member 2

Charles Wilson


Approximately 60 million youth participate in sports each year, however about 70% of these youth athletes drop out of sport by age 13 despite the numerous positive benefits of sport participation (National Alliance for Youth Sports, 2016; National Council for Youth Sports, 2008). Self-determination theory is a framework that has been utilized to investigate athletes’ motivations for behaviors including sport persistence and suggests that the coach can be an influence on such motivations (Rocchi, Pelletier, & Desmarais, 2017; Ryan & Deci, 2000). Coach-athlete relationship quality and interpersonal coaching behaviors that emphasize the satisfaction of basic needs have been found to be positively associated (Felton & Jowett, 2013; Jowett, et al., 2017; Riley & Smith, 2011). Further, interpersonal coaching behaviors that satisfy athletes’ basic psychological needs have been shown to impact sport persistence (Curran, Hill, Hall, & Jowett, 2014; Curran, Hill, Ntoumanis, Hall, & Jowett, 2016). A positive coach-athlete relationship has also been found to be related to higher levels of sport persistence (Gardner, Magee, & Vella, 2016; Rottensteiner, Konttinen, & Laakso, 2015). The purpose of the current study was to determine if the quality of the coach-athlete relationship mediates the relationship between interpersonal coaching behaviors and intentions to continue sport participation. A sample of 125 youth athletes ages 11 to 16 were recruited from organized sports teams in Nebraska and southeast Georgia. No significant mediations could be established. Significant positive relationships were shown among supportive coach interpersonal behaviors and coach-athlete relationship quality while negative relationships were demonstrated among thwarting coach interpersonal behaviors and coach-athlete relationship quality. A significant linear regression was found that predicted intentions based on competence-supportive coaching behaviors ((F(1,123) = 5.373, p = .022, adjusted R2 = .034). The results supported that coaches’ behaviors can impact coach-athlete relationship quality and intentions to continue sport participation in youth athletes.

OCLC Number


Research Data and Supplementary Material