COMMUNICATION AND HIGH QUALITY COACH-ATHLETE RELATIONSHIP : THE MODERATING ROLE OF ATHLETE ATTACHMENT
Abstract: This cross-sectional study presented two aims: 1) to examine whether associations could be found between athletes’ use of communication strategies conflict management, openness and support, and athletes’ perceptions of coach-athlete relationship quality, and 2) to examine whether athletes’ attachment style (secure, anxious-ambivalent or avoidant) would act as a moderator for this association. A sample of 396 athletes (males = 183, females = 210) whose age ranged from 15 to 60 years (mean age = 19.17, SD = 4.59 years). The sample was recruited from a variety of both individual and team sports. In order to participate, athletes responded a questionnaire, online or in paper version. Statistical analyses were performed in IBM SPSS 24 and Amos 24, and by using Structural Equation Modelling (SEM). The results confirmed associations between athletes’ use of the selected communication strategies and their perceptions of the coach-athlete relationship quality. Regarding moderating effects, athletes’ attachment style was shown to have a significant moderation effect on a majority of the found associations. Suggestions for future research is to examine more of the communication strategies presented in the COMPASS model, in order to strengthen the model’s practical use. Also, longitudinal studies would complement these findings, as well as qualitative research for a deepened understanding of the communication strategies.
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