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Peer leadership associated with cohesion, confidence in girls' teams

Maureen WeissMaureen Weiss, professor in the School of Kinesiology and co-director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport, along with former doctoral student Melissa Price, currently head women's soccer coach at University of Nevada, published a research paper exploring peer leadership in female high school soccer teams. The study asked: What qualities and attributes do players identify as effective leadership among their team members? And what types of leader behaviors are associated with team cohesiveness and efficacy?

Effective peer leaders were rated high in perceived soccer competence, social acceptance, behavioral conduct, and intrinsic motivation. In addition, peer leaders who exhibited greater instrumental and prosocial behaviors were associated with teammates who reported greater task and social cohesion within their teams and a higher degree of confidence in their team's ability, unity, effort, and preparation.

The full reference of the article is: Price, M.S., & Weiss, M.R. (2011). Peer leadership in sport: Relationships among personal characteristics, leader behaviors, and team outcomes. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 23, 49-64.

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