Interpersonal mechanisms explaining the transfer of well- and ill-being in coach–athlete dyads

Juliette Stebbings, Ian M. Taylor, Christopher M. Spray

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The current study explored coaches’ interpersonal behaviors as a mechanism for well- and ill-being contagion from coach to athlete and vice versa. Eighty-two coach–athlete dyads from individual sports completed self- report measures before and after a training session. Structural equation modeling supported three actor–partner interdependence mediation models, in which coaches’ presession well- and ill-being were associated with changes in athletes’ well- and ill-being over the course of the session. These relationships were mediated by athletes’ perceptions of their coaches’ interpersonal styles during the session. The reciprocal transfer from athlete to coach was not fully supported. Nonetheless, coaches’ perceptions of their own interpersonal behav- iors were associated with changes in their postsession well- and ill-being. Overall, evidence is provided for the contagion of affect from authority figures to those under their instruction but not vice versa.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)292-304
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Sport & Exercise Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • self-determination theory
  • autonomy support
  • control
  • laissez-faire
  • distinguishable dyads
  • leadership
  • mediation


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