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Research Unit in Psychology of Sports (UIPD) and motivational climate

Chicas corriendo en un parque

Despite the general belief regarding the fact that participating in some sport improves the wellbeing, according to Isabel Balaguer, researchers who have studied the effect of such participation have found both positive and negative effects. Therefore, the sports participation is not positive or negative in itself, but it depends on the way in which it is experienced. 

20 july 2016

As we already explained in the previous post "Promotion of wellbeing and healthy lifestyles", different research lines have tried to analyse what is motivational climate and how it affects people. These were the theory of the achievement and self-determination goals, from which the path to develop empowering climates that satisfy basic psychological needs are also suggested.

Still, staying only with the coach and its relationship with the team is limiting yourself, since “the future research should wider spread covering also the environment created by the parents and by the training partners. Likewise, wellbeing dimensions should be widen, including those of social welfare”, as Balaguer says in her editorial “La investigación sobre el clima motivacional ha abierto el camino para la promoción del bienestar a través de la participación” (“Research on motivational environment has opened the path for promoting wellbeing through sports participation”).

In this sense, the labour carried out by the Research Unit in Psychology of Sports (UIPD) of the Universitat de València, whose president is the doctor and professor Isabel Balaguer, is emphasised. This Unit focuses its research studies in the health behaviours of teenagers in the psychosocial procedures in sport and education, as well as in the promotion of positive motivational climates and adaptive in the achievement contexts, as they explain in their website. Also, it is a group of experts in Social, Clinical and Health Psychology, and also in Psychology Evaluation and Sports Sciences. Its research lines can be divided in:

  • Life styles related with health during teenage years.
  • Psychosocial causes of performance and satisfaction in sport.
  • Motivational procedures in the achievement contexts.

Also, its application fields are essentially Sport, Health, Education and Business or any other type of organisation. They also offer consulting and technical advisory services on the impact of school performance sports programmes, development of good practices relating to sport, exploring characteristics of teenage lifestyles and its psychosocial correlations, as well as studying the relationships between the motivational procedures in different contexts and management of sports services, among others.

Its application fields are essentially Sport, Health, Education and Business or any other type of organisation

Together with all the above, they also include the training for leaders in the creation of empowerment environment through a training programme applied and validated at international level, as it is the case of the Empowering Coaching Programme, through the European PAPA project, in different contexts.

Nevertheless, the wide experience in sport and education psychosocial processes this Unit has is very important, since it has participated in many research projects at a national and international level. It has also collaborated with public and private entities providing training for football and tennis coaches, for educators in child protection centres, for secondary school teachers and even for parents.

Among them, it is noteworthy the PAPA project we already mentioned in the previous post, in which it has also participated. This is a programme focused on the training of football coaches for the promotion of psychosocial development and for the adoption of healthy lifestyles between the young European people. It had the participation of countries such as United Kingdom, Norway, France and Greece as well as Spain.

The wide experience in sport and education psychosocial processes this Unit has is very important, since it has participated in many research projects at a national and international level

Another key aspect are the results that this researchers unit has got, thus validating different tools related to Sport and Education, among others, such as:

  • Sport Climate Questionnaire
  • Controlling Coach Behaviours Scale in the Sport Context
  • Perceived Motivational Climate in Sport Questionnaire.
  • Task and Ego Orientation in Sport Questionnaire.
  • Sport Motivation Scale.
  • “Schwartz Portrait Values Questionnaire”.
  • “Self-Perception Profile for Children and Adolescents”.
  • “Satisfaction with Life Scale”

As a result of its activity, they have also published many articles in international scientific journals of their field of knowledge: Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, Psychology of Sport and Exercise, Science Journal of Public Health, Journal of Physical Activity & Health of International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology. Even though, on the other side they have their own diffusion networks and associations such as “Conducta saludable con deporte de calidad”, REDDECA, and universities of Mexico. 


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