Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts




Dr. Albert Carron

Second Advisor

Dr. Shauna Burke


Team building has been defined as “a method of helping the group to (a) increase effectiveness, (b) satisfy the needs of its members, or (c) improve work conditions” (Brawley & Paskevich, 1997, p. 13). The primary purpose of the present study was to conduct a meta-analysis of studies using team building interventions in sport teams. A secondary purpose was to examine the influence of various moderator variables: study design (quasi- or non-experimental), source of data (published or unpublished), type of intervention (goal setting, interpersonal relations, adventure programs, omnibus), delivery (direct or indirect), length of intervention (<2 weeks, 2-20 weeks, >20 weeks), gender (male, female, mixed), sport type (interactive, individual, combination), and finally, skill level (high school, intercollegiate, post-intercollegiate). The dependent variables examined were: cohesion (task and social), performance, enhanced cognitions, roles, and anxiety. Standard literature searches produced 17 studies containing a total of 180 effect sizes. The effect sizes were subjected to the corrections suggested by Hedges and Olkin (1985). The overall average Hedges g was .427 (p <.001). Subsequent analyses indicated: (a) a moderate positive effect for both quasi- (.408, p < .001) and non-experimental (.474, p < .001) designs; (b) a moderate positive effect for published (.385, p < .001), along with a moderate to large positive effect for unpublished (.539, p < .001) studies; (c) a large positive effect for goal setting interventions (.714, p < .001) compared to a small positive effect for interventions incorporating a combination of strategies (.161, p > .05), and moderate positive effects for targeting interpersonal relations (.486, p > .05) or using adventure programs (.471, p < .001); (d) moderate positive effects for both direct (.446, p < .001) and indirect protocols for intervention delivery (.414, p < .001); (e) a small - iii - positive effect for interventions lasting < 2 weeks (.106, p > .05), versus moderate positive effects for interventions ranging between 2-20 weeks (.499, p < .001) and lasting longer than 2 weeks (.564, p< .001); (f) a moderate positive effect for both males (.525, p < .001 ) and females (.458, p < .001), and a large positive effect for groups of mixed gender (.712, p < .01); (g) a small positive effect in team sports (.159, p > .05), and a moderate to large positive effect in individual sports (.673, p < .001) and in studies examining a combination of sports (.712, p <.01); and (h) a small positive effect for high school (.240, p > .05) and post-intercollegiate groups (.218, p >.05), and a moderate positive effect for intercollegiate groups (.482, p <.001). With regard to the dependent variable categories, small positive effects were found for social cohesion (.214, p< .01), task cohesion (.263, p > .05), and anxiety (.165, p > .05), whereas large positive effects were found for performance (712, p <.001), enhanced cognitions (.799, p < .001), and roles (.789, p > .05). The results are discussed in relation to their contribution to the theory and practice of group dynamics in sport.



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