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Gazzetta Medica Italiana - Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2019 July-August;178(7-8):508-14

DOI: 10.23736/S0393-3660.18.03881-0

Copyright © 2018 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

The influence of gender and competition level on young student-athletes’ use of observational learning

Angelita B. CRUZ 1, Hyun-Duck KIM 2

1 Department of Physical Education, Keimyung University, Daegu, South Korea; 2 Department of Sport Marketing, Keimyung University, Daegu, South Korea



BACKGROUND: Previous research has shown that athletes employ the skill function of observational learning more frequently than the functions of strategy and performance respectively, and that various factors affect these differences. However, there remains a lack of information about observational learning use in young participants and in competition situations. Hence, this study examined youth athletes’ observational learning use in competitions and whether differences existed in their reported use based on gender and competition level.
METHODS: Participants included 167 elementary and high school student- athletes comprised of 76 males and 91 females. Age ranged from 10-18 years old and had competitive badminton experience ranging from 1 to 12 years.
RESULTS: Overall, results demonstrated that, in contrast to their adult counterparts, young athletes used the strategy function most frequently, followed by the skill function, while the performance function of observational learning was the least used. Furthermore, high-school athletes used the strategy function of observational learning more frequently than elementary athletes.
CONCLUSIONS: The present study revealed that while competition level affected the athletes’ use of observational learning, gender did not. The observational learning function pattern of strategy > skill > performance is a novel finding compared to previous studies and highlights the importance of the observer/task/where/why components in providing effective intervention via observation that may be applied to physical education and sport settings.


KEY WORDS: Statistical models; Athletes; Learning; Sports; Mentoring

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