An approachment to group processes in female professional sport


  • Francisco Miguel Leo Faculty of Teacher Training. University of Extremadura.
  • Inmaculada González-Ponce
  • Diana Amado Alonso
  • Juan José Pulido González
  • Tomás Tomás García-Calvo


Under consideration of the conceptual model of cohesion (Carron & Eys, 2012), this study examined how perceptions of ambiguity and role conflict can predict group cohesion and how it could influence transactive memory and collective efficacy in female sport teams. The participants were 225 professional female soccer players (M = 22.20, SD = 4.61). Each individual belonged to one of 13 federate teams that participated in the First Division of the Spanish Women’s Soccer League. The structural equation model showed that members that perceived greater ambiguity and role conflict perceive less task cohesion with their teams. Additionally, individuals who feel more united with their team and are willing to work in a collaborative manner state that a greater transactive memory in regards to performing tasks and greater collective efficacy in realizing these tasks exist. The results suggest that the group leaders in female sports teams will have to make an effort to define the roles of each member of the team to improve the union and group work, because these factors are linked to the capacity of sharing knowledge among group members and the confidence in abilities when facing team work.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...


Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Beal, D. J., Cohen, R. R., Burke, M. J., & McLendon, C. L. (2003). Cohesion and performance in groups: a meta-analytic clarification of construct relations. Journal of Applied Psychology, 6, 989–1004. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.88.6.989

Beauchamp, M. R. (2007). Efficacy beliefs within relational and group contexts in sport. In S. Lavallee & D. Jowett (Eds.) Social psychology in sport, pp. 181–193. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Beauchamp, M. R., & Bray, S. R. (2001). Role ambiguity and role conflict within interdependent teams. Small Group Research, 32, 133–157.doi:10.1177/104649640103200202

Beauchamp, M. R., Bray, S. R., Eys, M. A., & Carron, A. V. (2002). Role ambiguity, role efficacy, and role performance: Multidimensional and mediational relationships within interdependent sport teams. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, 6, 229–242. doi:10.1037/1089-2699.6.3.229

Beauchamp, M. R., Bray, S. R., Fielding, A., & Eys, M. A. (2005). A multilevel investigation of the relationship between role ambiguity and role efficacy in sport. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 6, 289–302. doi:10.1016/j.psychsport.2004.03.002

Bentler, P. M. (1990). Comparative fit indexes in structural models. Psychological Bulletin, 107, 238–246. Retrieved from

Bollen, K. A., & Long, J. S. (1993). Testing Structural Equation Models. CA: Sage Publication.

Bosselut, G., McLaren, C. D., Eys, M. A., & Heuzé, J. P. (2012). Reciprocity of the relationship between role ambiguity and group cohesion in youth interdependent sport. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 13(3), 341-348. doi:10.1016/j.psychsport.2011.09.002

Byrne, B. (2001). Structural equation modeling with AMOS: Basic concepts, applications, and programming. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Carron, A. V. (1980). Social psychology of sport. Ithaca, NY: Mouvement.

Carron, A. V., Brawley, L. R., & Widmeyer, W. N. (1998). The measurement of cohesiveness in sport groups. In J. L. Duda (Ed.) Advances in sport and exercise psychology measurement, pp. 213–226. Morgantown, WV: Fitness Information Technology.

Carron, A. V., Colman, M. M., Wheeler, J., & Stevens, D. (2002). Cohesion and performance in sport: A meta analysis. Journal of Sport & Exercise Pshycology, 24, 168–188.

Carron, A. V., & Eys, M. A. (2012). Group Dynamics in Sport (4th ed.). Morgantown, WV: Fitness Information Technology.

Carron, A. V., Widmeyer, W. N., & Brawley, L. R. (1985). The development of an instrument to assess cohesion in sport teams: The Group Environment Questionnaire. Journal of Sport Psychology, 7, 244–266.

Cunningham, I. J., & Eys, M. A. (2007). Role ambiguity and intra-team communication in interdependent sport teams. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 37, 2220–2237. doi:10.1111/j.1559-1816.2007.00256.x

Eys, M. A., & Carron, A. V. (2001). Role ambiguity, task cohesion, and task self-efficacy. Small Group Research, 32, 356–373. doi:10.1177/104649640103200305

Eys, M. A., Ohlert, J., Evans, M. B., Wolf, S. A., Martin, L. J., Van Bussel, M., & Steins, C. (2015). Cohesion and performance for female and male sport teams. The Sport Psychologist, 29, 97–109. doi:10.1123/tsp.2014-0027

Filho, E., Tenenbaum, G., & Yang, Y. (2015). Cohesion, team mental models, and collective efficacy: towards an integrated framework of team dynamics in sport. Journal of Sports Sciences, 33, 641-653. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2014.957714

Fransen, K., Decroos, S., Vanbeselaere, N., Vande Broek, G., De Cuyper, B., Vanroy, J., & Boen, F. (2015). Is team confidence the key to success? The reciprocal relation between collective efficacy, team outcome confidence, and perceptions of team performance during soccer games. Journal of Sports Sciences, 33, 219-231. doi:10.1080/02640414.2014.942689.

Fuster-Parra, P., García-Mas, A., Ponseti, F. J., & Leo, F. M. (2015). Team performance and collective efficacy in the dynamic psychology of competitive team: A Bayesian network analysis. Human Movement Science, 40, 98-118. doi:10.1016/j.humov.2014.12.005

Heuzé, J. P., Raimbault, N., & Fontayne, P. (2006). Relationships between cohesion, collective efficacy and performance in professional basketball teams: An examination of mediating effects. Journal of Sports Sciences, 24, 59–68. doi:10.1080/02640410500127736

Hollingshead, A. B. (2001). Cognitive interdependence and convergent expectations in transactive memory. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81, 1080–1089.

Holmbeck, G. N. (1997). Toward terminological, conceptual, and statistical clarity in the study of mediators and moderators: examples from the child-clinical and pediatric psychology literatures. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 65, 599–610. doi:10.1037/0022-006X.65.4.599

Hoyle, R. H., & Panter, A. T. (1995). Writing about structural equation models. In R. H. Hoyle (Ed.) Structural equation modeling: Concepts, issues, and applications, pp. 158–176. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Hu, L., & Bentler, P. M. (1999). Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: Conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 6, 1–55. doi:10.1080/10705519909540118

Jöreskog, K., & Sörbom, D. (1996). LISREL 8: User’s Reference Guide. Chicago, IL: Scientific Software International Inc.

Kozlowski, S. W. J., & Bell, B. S. (2003). Work groups and teams in organizations. Psychology. In W. C. Borman, D. R. Ilgen, & R. J. Klimoski (Eds.) Comprehensive Handbook of Psychology: Industrial and Organizational, pp. 333–375. New York: Wiley.

Kozub, S. A., & McDonnell, J. F. (2000). Exploring the relationship between cohesion and collective efficacy in rugby teams. Journal of Sport Behavior, 23, 120–129.

Leo, F. M., González-Ponce, I., Sánchez-Miguel, P. A., Ivarsson, A., & García-Calvo, T. (2015). Role ambiguity, role conflict, team conflict, cohesion and collective efficacy in sport teams: A multilevel analysis. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 20, 60-66. doi:10.1016/j.psychsport.2015.04.009

Leo, F. M., González-Ponce, I., Sánchez-Oliva, D., Amado, D., & García-Calvo, T. (2016). Adaptation and validation into Spanish of the Transactive Memory System Scale (TMMS) in sport context. Manuscript submitted for publication.

Leo, F. M., González-Ponce, I., Sánchez-Oliva, D., Pulido, J. J., & García-Calvo, T. (2015). Adaptation and validation in Spanish of the Group Environment Questionnaire (GEQ) with professional football players. Psicothema, 27(3). doi:10.7334/psicothema2014.247

Leo, F. M., Sánchez-Miguel, P. A., Sánchez-Oliva, D., Amado, D., & García-Calvo, T. (2014). Análisis de los procesos grupales y el rendimiento en fútbol semi-professional [Analysis of the group process and the performance in semi-professional soccer]. Revista Internacional de Medicina y Ciencias de la Actividad Física y del Deporte, 14(53), 153-168. Retrieved from

Lewis, K. (2003). Measuring transactive memory systems in the field: Scale development and validation. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88, 587–604. doi: 10.1037/0021-9010.88.4.587

Lewis, K., & Herndon, B. (2011). Transactive memory systems: Current issues and future research directions. Organization Science, 22, 1254-1265. doi: 10.1287/orsc.1110.0647

Lin, Y. H., & Chou, H. W. (2009). Exploring the formation of collective efficacy in college student learning teams. In T. Bastiaens et al. (Eds.) Proceedings of World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education 2009, pp. 2863–2870. Chesapeake, VA: AACE.

Myers, N. D., Feltz, D. L., & Short, S. E. (2004). Collective efficacy and team performance: A longitudinal study of collegiate football teams. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, 8, 126–138. doi:10.1037/1089-2699.8.2.126

Nunnally, J. C., & Bernstein, I.H. (1994). Psychometric theory (3rd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Paskevich, D. M., Brawley, L. R., Dorsch, K. D., & Widmeyer, W. N. (1999). Relationship between collective efficacy and cohesion: Conceptual and measurement issues. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, 3, 210–222. doi:10.1037/1089-2699.3.3.210

Ren, Y., & Argote, L. (2011). Transactive Memory Systems 1985–2010: An integrative framework of key dimensions, antecedents, and consequences. The Academy of Management Annals, 5(1), 189-229. doi:10.1080/19416520.2011.590300

Schumacker, R. E., & Lomax, R. G. (1996). A beginner’s guide to structural equation modeling. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Eribaum Associates. Inc.

Solansky, S. T. (2008). Leadership style and team processes in self-managed teams. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 14, 332–341. doi:10.1177/1548051808315549

Spink, K. S. (1990). Group cohesion and collective efficacy of volleyball teams. Journal of Sport & Exercise Pshycology, 12, 301–311.

Tubre, T. C., & Collins, J.M. (2000). Jackson and Schuler (1985) Revisited: A Meta-Analysis of the relationships between role ambiguity, role conflict, and job performance. Journal of Management, 26, 155–169. doi:10.1177/014920630002600104

Zaccaro, S. J., Blair, V., Peterson, C., & Zazanis, M. (1995). Collective efficacy. In J. E. Maddux (Ed.) Self-efficacy, adaptation, and adjustment: Theory, research, and application, pp. 305–328. New York: Plenum Press.






Original Research

Most read articles by the same author(s)