Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

William Russell


The study examined the effects of coach-athlete philosophy of various collegiate level women's basketball teams on team cohesion levels as perceived by the athletes. The philosophic orientation of head coaches (n = 4) and athletes (n = 43) was determined by use of the Philosophic Affiliation Team Survey (PATS). The team cohesion levels, as scored by the Group Environment Questionnaire, GEQ (Carron, Windmeyer, & Brawley, 1985), were compared between those coaches and athletes who displayed a philosophic match and those who did not match. Specifically, the purposes were to a) determine if those athletes who matched the philosophy of their head coach (PATS) scored higher in team cohesion than those athletes who did not match their coach's philosophy, b) determine in which subscales of team cohesion the coach-athlete match subjects (n = 29) scored higher, and c) determine if the PATS displayed concurrent validity with a parent test (Zeigler, 1989). MANOVA results indicated a significant main effect for philosophy match (Wilk's Lambda = .44, F(4, 38) = 12.27, p < .0001). Total structure coefficients for GEQ subscales were r = .99 (GI-T), r = .87 (GEQ Total), r = .71 (GI-S), r = .48 (ATG-T), and r = .45 (ATG-S), indicating that each aspect of team cohesion significantly differentiated athletes whose philosophy matched their coach from those whose philosophy did not match. Examination of the total structure coefficients indicated that while all GEQ subscales could significantly differentiate athletes that matched their head coach's philosophy, Group Integration-Task (r = .99) and Group Integration-Social (r = .71) were especially meaningful in this relationship. Post hoc follow-up tests indicated that the Division II level college team produced the highest total cohesion mean (M = 140.30), compared to the Junior College (M= 113.23) and the Division I (major) (M = 110.90) teams. In turn, both of these teams measured significantly higher mean values than the Division I (mid-major) school (M= 91.80). The PATS showed no significant overall concurrent validity with the parent test (Zeigler, 1989), as evidenced by low overall correlations between the PATS results and their scores on the respective subscales of the parent test. Despite the lack of support for the validity of the PATS, there was a significant level of concurrent validity (r = .39, p < .05) on the idealist scale, indicating if the subject was classified as an idealist on Zeigler's survey (1989), then the subject would most likely be classified as an idealist on the PATS. Overall results provided high levels of support for the influence of coach-athlete philosophic match on team cohesion levels as perceived by the athletes. Results are discussed for the potential of the coach-athlete philosophic orientation in the study of sport philosophy based on the current findings and the importance of team cohesion in building success within athletic teams.