Changes in authentic leadership over a sport season predict changes in athlete outcomes

Ella Malloy, Maria Kavussanu, Mariya Yukhymenko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Authentic leadership is a genuine form of leadership in which coaches demonstrate behaviors in line with their inner values, and could result in positive outcomes in athletes, such as trust and enjoyment, yet, it has received limited research attention in sport. Most previous studies of authentic leadership in sport have been cross-sectional. Thus, it is not known how changes in authentic leadership over time may be related to changes in athlete outcomes such as cohesion, team culture, and perceived teammate prosocial behavior. The aim of this study was to examine whether changes in authentic leadership are related to changes in commitment, enjoyment, and perceived teammate prosocial behavior, via changes in a perception of greater trust, team culture, and cohesion, over a sports season. Data were collected via questionnaires at two time points: the beginning and the end of a sport season, with 421 (227 females, Mage = 20.32, SD = 2.86) team sport athletes at Time 1 and 248 athletes 5 months later at Time 2. Increases in authentic leadership from pre to postseason were related to greater athlete enjoyment, commitment, and perceived teammate prosocial behavior both directly and indirectly via increased perceptions of trust, team culture, and cohesion. Our ndings enhance our understanding of authentic leadership in sport and highlight its importance in predicting changes in athlete outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275–289
Number of pages15
JournalSport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2022


  • Coaches
  • Leaders
  • Longitudinal
  • Path analysis
  • Teams

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Applied Psychology


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