Association between motivation and group cohesion in professional football: is the coach-athlete relationship a determining factor?

Lenamar Fiorese Vieira, Gislaine Contessoto Pizzo, Andressa Ribeiro Contreira, Tatyanne Roiek Lazier-Leão, Caio Rosas Moreira, Patrícia Aparecida Gaion Rigoni, José Roberto Andrade do Nascimento Junior


The study of psychological variables in sport context is essential for the identification of the intervening factors in well-being and performance of the athletes and teams. This study investigated whether the coach-athlete relationship (CAR) is a key factor on the association between motivation and group cohesion. Participated 141 Brazilian professional football players. Data collection was conducted through Group Environment Questionnaire, Coach-Athlete Relationship Questionnaire and Sport Motivation Scale-II. Structural Equation Modeling revealed that autonomous motivation had a positive effect on cohesion (social and task), while controlled motivation had a negative effect. Together, autonomous and controlled motivation explained 86% and 84% of the social and task cohesion variability, respectively. When the association was mediated by CAR, overall effect of negative trajectories of controlled motivation was reduced, indicating that CAR served as a moderator in the model. It was concluded that CAR is determinant so that the behavior regulated by external factors does not negatively influence the perception of group cohesion in the football context.


Social relationship; Self-determination; Group environment

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