Exploring the Determinants of Coach Identity throughout Coaches’ Careers and the Development of a Coach Identity Scale

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Rout, Helen (2021) Exploring the Determinants of Coach Identity throughout Coaches’ Careers and the Development of a Coach Identity Scale. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


Objectives: There has only been a limited amount of research exploring coach identity; thus, the understanding of determinants of coach identity remains limited. Scales to measure coach identity to date have been narrowly focused on the prominence and emotions that coaches attribute to their role. Therefore, the first aim of this thesis was to explore the factors that contribute to the strength and development of coach identity with consideration of all aspects of a coach’s career. Furthermore, the thesis aimed to develop a coach identity scale that can measure the multidimensional aspects of coaching and examine the psychometric properties of the scale. Procedures: In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with seven expert coaches, exploring the factors that helped them develop their identity and sense of being a coach. In the next phase, to develop a survey, the determinants of coach identity obtained from the first study were used to generate a pool of items for a coach identity scale. The items were then reviewed by six academic experts to assess the content validity of the items. Five expert coaches then evaluated the technical quality of the scale. The items that were identified to have an issue by two or more coaches were modified. In the last phase, the psychometric properties of the scale were assessed using a sample of 216 coaches. The Coach Identity Prominence Scale (Pope & Hall, 2014a) was completed to assess convergent validity, and the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) (Kroenke et al., 2001) was completed to explore discriminant validity. Two weeks after the completion of the first survey, the coaches were contacted via Qualtrics with a request to complete the Coach Identity Development Scale (CIDS) a second time to assess test-retest reliability. Data Analysis: The interview data were analysed using an inductive thematic analysis to identify the themes and patterns related to the development of coach identity. The content validity of the items was analysed by an examination of frequencies of reviewers that 3 agreed on each item being quite relevant (3) or highly relevant (4). In addition, the technical quality of the scale was measured by considering the frequencies of an issue being identified for each item. In the third study, the discriminant and convergent validity test, the test-retest reliability of the scale was analysed using Pearson’ correlations. The factor structure of the scale was analysed using exploratory factor analysis. Results: Personal, social, environmental and career factors play a role in the development of coach identity. Based on this, an item pool of 28 items was generated for the scale. The critical analysis of the items by the academic researchers and expert coaches led some items to be modified, some added, and some removed, with a final item pool of 28 items with content validity. The final study showed support for the convergent and discriminant validity, overall internal consistency and test-retest reliability of the scale. The results on exploratory factor yielded a six-factor solution, indicating that coach identity contains six factors, including socio-personal development, social recognition, life coaching, coach success, coach learning and coach motivation. Conclusions: Coach identity is multidimensional, and various factors play a role in the maintenance and development of coaches’ identity. This finding is consistent with the complex and multidimensional nature of a coaching career. The CIDS shows adequate psychometric properties and may enable further research into coach identity and its correlates.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/43468
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 5201 Applied and developmental psychology
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Health and Sport
Keywords coach identity development; scale development; psychometric properties
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