A theoretical framework and research agenda for studying team attributions in sport

Mark S. Allen, Pete Coffee, Iain Greenlees

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The attributions made for group outcomes have attracted a great deal of interest in recent years. In this article we bring together much of the current research on attribution theory in sport and outline a new conceptual framework and research agenda for investigating the attributions of team members. 

The proposed framework draws on multiple conceptual approaches including models of attribution, group dynamics and stress responses to provide a detailed hypothetical description of athletes' physiological, cognitive and affective responses to group competition. In describing this model we outline important antecedents of team attributions before hypothesising how attributions can impact hormonal and cardiovascular responses of athletes, together with cognitive (goals, choices, expectations), affective (self-esteem, emotions) and behavioural (approach-avoidance actions) responses of groups and group members. 

We conclude by outlining important methodological considerations and implications for structured context-specific attribution-based interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-144
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • approach-avoidance motivation
  • group dynamics
  • neuroendocrinology


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