Causal attribution in sport : a comparison of the perceptions of females and males
Kuzmanic, Ruth L.
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The purpose of this study was to compare the causal attributions of female and male softball teams to wins and losses. A secondary purpose was to compare the causal attributions for success and failure of high school and collegiate softball teams. Ten high school and 14 collegiate softball team members served as the female subjects for this study. Sixteen high school and 18 collegiate baseball team members served as the male subjects for this study. All subjects were involved in competitive game play at the time of the study. The instrument used to obtain the data was Russell’s Causal Dimension Scale, devised in 1982. Russell’s Causal Dimension Scale (CDS) assesses three causal dimensions: locus of control, stability, and controllability. Slight modifications to the CDS were made for a better understanding by the younger subjects. The questionnaire was administered to all players on the team immediately following the game and before coaches or spectators could talk with the players. Data were collected for a minimum of two wins and two losses for all four groups--the high school female and male groups and the collegiate female and male groups. A multifactorial one-way analysis of variance was used to determine whether there were significant differences in the causal attributions of males and females at the high school and college levels. A two-way ANOVA was administered to determine whether there were significant differences (at the p < .05 level) in the causal attributions when comparing gender by outcome, level of competition by outcome, and gender by level of competition. The results of the one-way ANOVA indicated that the following variables were significantly affected: locus of control by outcome, gender, and level of competition; stability by outcome; and controllability by outcome and level of competition. Results of the one-way ANOVA showed the following variables to be significant: stability was affected by outcome and level of competition, outcome and gender, and gender and level; and controllability was affected by gender and level. This finding was consistent with studies by D. Russell in 1982; I. H. Frieze, M. McHugh, and M. Duquin in 1976; S. Feldman-Summers and S. Kiesler in 1974; and N. Feather in 1969. These results suggest that one’s causal attributions in relation to baseball/softball competition are affected by outcome, gender, and level of competition.