Objectives: Fostering individuals' long-term participation in activities that promote positive development such as organised sport is an important agenda for research and practice. We integrated the theories of planned behaviour (TPB) and basic psychological needs (BPN) to identify factors associated with young adults' continuation in organised sport over a 12-month period. Design: Prospective study, including an online psycho-social assessment at Time 1 and an assessment of continuation in sport approximately 12 months later. Methods: Participants (N=. 292) aged between 17 and 21 years (M=. 18.03; SD. =. 1.29) completed an online survey assessing the theories of planned behaviour and basic psychological needs constructs. Bayesian structural equation modelling (BSEM) was employed to test the hypothesised theoretical sequence, using informative priors for structural relations based on empirical and theoretical expectations. Results: The analyses revealed support for the robustness of the hypothesised theoretical model in terms of the pattern of relations as well as the direction and strength of associations among the constructs derived from quantitative summaries of existing research and theoretical expectations. The satisfaction of basic psychological needs was associated with more positive attitudes, higher levels of perceived behavioural control, and more favourable subjective norms; positive attitudes and perceived behavioural control were associated with higher behavioural intentions; and both intentions and perceived behavioural control predicted sport continuation. Conclusions: This study demonstrated the utility of Bayesian structural equation modelling for testing the robustness of an integrated theoretical model, which is informed by empirical evidence from meta-analyses and theoretical expectations, for understanding sport continuation.
- Bayesian structural equation modelling
- Methodological-substantive synergy
- Self-determination theory
- Sport continuation
- Sport dropout
- Theoretical integration