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Title: The role of psychological characteristics of developing excellence (PCDEs) in negotiating the pathway to excellence
Author: Macnamara, Aine
Awarding Body: University of Central Lancashire
Current Institution: University of Central Lancashire
Date of Award: 2010
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Abstract:
The development of talent is a complex process mediated by a host of psychology, social, physical, and environmental variables. Unfortunately, the multiple processes involved in talent development (Gagne, 2004; Simonton, 2001) are frequently ignored by the systems and protocols employed in sport. Modem approaches to talent development are beginning to stress the initial possession, then subsequent development, of Psychological Characteristics of Developing Excellence (PCDEs; MacNamara, Button, & Collins, 2010) as the best way to realize latent potential. Accordingly, the aim of this thesis was to acknowledge this complexity by identifying the psycho-behavioural factors that co-act with physical potential and practice regimes to enhance the efficacy of TID models in sport. The main objectives of this thesis were: 1. To identify the challenges faced along the pathway to excellence and the PCDEs that facilitate the successful negotiation of the pathway to excellence across different performance domains. 2. To identify whether PCDEs are operationalised differentially depending, on an individual's age, stage, and context. 3. To confirm these differential roles through quasi-longitudinal examinations of longterm employment (in musicians) and across a key transition (in athletics, the transitions to university at 18 years of age). 4. To develop a questionnaire to bridge the theory-practice divide in TO processes and enable formative evaluation of PCDEs by practitioners. 5. To provide preliminary validation of the questionnaire by evaluating its discriminant function between good and poor development athletes. The development of talent is a complex process mediated by a host of psychology, social, physical, and environmental variables. Unfortunately, the multiple processes involved in talent development (Gagne, 2004; Simonton, 2001) are frequently ignored by the systems and protocols employed in sport. Modem approaches to talent development are beginning to stress the initial possession, then subsequent development, of Psychological Characteristics of Developing Excellence (PCDEs; MacNamara, Button, & Collins, 2010) as the best way to realize latent potential. Accordingly, the aim of this thesis was to acknowledge this complexity by identifying the psycho-behavioural factors that co-act with physical potential and practice regimes to enhance the efficacy of TID models in sport. The main objectives of this thesis were: 1. To identify the challenges faced along the pathway to excellence and the PCDEs that facilitate the successful negotiation of the pathway to excellence across different performance domains. 2. To identify whether PCDEs are operationalised differentially depending, on an individual's age, stage, and context. 3. To confirm these differential roles through quasi-longitudinal examinations of longterm employment (in musicians) and across a key transition (in athletics, the transitions to university at 18 years of age). 4. To develop a questionnaire to bridge the theory-practice divide in TO processes and enable formative evaluation of PCDEs by practitioners. 5. To provide preliminary validation of the questionnaire by evaluating its discriminant function between good and poor development athletes. The development of talent is a complex process mediated by a host of psychology, social, physical, and environmental variables. Unfortunately, the multiple processes involved in talent development (Gagne, 2004; Simonton, 2001) are frequently ignored by the systems and protocols employed in sport. Modem approaches to talent development are beginning to stress the initial possession, then subsequent development, of Psychological Characteristics of Developing Excellence (PCDEs; MacNamara, Button, & Collins, 2010) as the best way to realize latent potential. Accordingly, the aim of this thesis was to acknowledge this complexity by identifying the psycho-behavioural factors that co-act with physical potential and practice regimes to enhance the efficacy of TID models in sport. The main objectives of this thesis were: 1. To identify the challenges faced along the pathway to excellence and the PCDEs that facilitate the successful negotiation of the pathway to excellence across different performance domains. 2. To identify whether PCDEs are operationalised differentially depending, on an individual's age, stage, and context. 3. To confirm these differential roles through quasi-longitudinal examinations of longterm employment (in musicians) and across a key transition (in athletics, the transitions to university at 18 years of age). 4. To develop a questionnaire to bridge the theory-practice divide in TO processes and enable formative evaluation of PCDEs by practitioners. 5. To provide preliminary validation of the questionnaire by evaluating its discriminant function between good and poor development athletes. To address the first and second objective, Chapter 3 describes a retrospective, qualitative study of the careers of elite performers. The findings of this study suggest that the pathway to excellence is complicated by the specific challenges faced within different performance domains. However, a similar set of PCDEs, albeit differentially deployed, were reported by all participants as facilitators of development. Chapters 4 and 5 employed a quasi-longitudinal research design to address Objective 3 - the differential deployment of PCDEs in particular contexts. Using a sliding populations methodology, young classical musicians were tracked over a 2-year period to explore the PCDEs employed during the macro and micro stages they encountered as they progressed. A similar research design was employed in Chapter 4 to examine the use of PCDEs during a critical transitional period for track and field athletes. Although the results point to the generality of PCDEs at both elite and developmental levels, and across performance domains, there appeared to be an understandable and necessary shift in responsibility from significant others promoting and reinforcing PCDEs in the early years towards self-initiated and autonomous behaviours in the later years; in essence, a shift in the source of regulation (Cleary & Zimmerman, 2001). The studies in Chapters 3, 4, and 5 generated a list of PCDEs that facilitated development, along with an understanding of how PCDEs were deployed differentially along the pathway to excellence. These findings were used to develop the Psychological Characteristics of Developing Excellence Questionnaire (PCDEQ); a questionnaire designed to assess the possession and strategic deployment of the PCDEs. Chapter 6 reported the systematic generation of questionnaire items and an exploratory factor analysis that resulted in a 59- item, 6 factor stnicture PCDEQ. The PCDEQ displayed good psychometric properties and should provide coaches with a theoretically and empirically supported tool to assess, monitor, and develop these key developmental skills. To address the final objective, Chapter 7 presents a discriminant function analysis which revealed that the PCDEQ had very good discriminant function and was able to classify between 67 per cent and 75 per cent of athletes correctly on the basis of their self-reported behaviour in sport. In conclusion, the studies reported in this thesis provide a significant contribution to current knowledge by shifting the fopus away from TID methods based on prediction and correlation towards a consideration of progress and behaviour during development. Future recommendations include the need for further validation of the PCDEQ as well as longitudinal and action-based research assessing the role of PCDEs in talent development.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.721710  DOI: Not available
Keywords: C600 - Sport & exercise science
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