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Devishvili V.M., Mdivani M.O., Elgina D.S. (2017). Group cohesion in sports teams of different professional level. National Psychological Journal, 4, 121–128


Background. Team sports are not only the most exciting sporting events. but also complex activities that make serious demands on players. The effectiveness of the team depends not only on the high level of gaming interaction. but also on the relationship between the players. The work is based on the material of sports teams and is devoted to the study of the phenomenon of group cohesion. As a basic model. the authors choose a 4-factor model that describes cohesion in sports teams. The paper also considered the phenomenon of the emergence of the aggregate subject in the process of joint activity. when the participants feel themselves as a whole and experience feelings of satisfaction and a surge of energy. 

Objective. The main objective of the work is to investigate the relationship between the level of team cohesion and subjective feelings of unity of its players. As additional variables in the study there is a sport (football and volleyball) and team level (amateur and professional). 

To test the assumptions. two methods were used (the Sport Team Cohesion Questionnaire and the Subject Unity Index). which allow not only to determine the overall level of cohesion and unity. but also to reveal the structure of both phenomena. The study involved two men’s volleyball and two men’s football teams of different ages: 8-9 years (39 athletes); 12-14 years (24 athletes) and 18-25 years (41 athletes). 

Design. For amateur groups represented by children’s and teenage sports teams. significant correlations between unity and unity were obtained (r = 0.618. p <0.01; r = 0.477. p <0.05). For professional teams. no significant correlations were found. Influence of the sport on cohesion is also different for amateur and professional teams. In the first case. the cohesion is higher for football players (U = 118. p <0.05). and in the second case for volleyball players (U = 124. p <0.05). 

Results. The findings indicate that the professional level of players affects group cohesion and the phenomenon of group unity. The authors explain this by the fact that for professionals the main motive of the activity is to receive a reward for the game. and for the amateurs - the pleasure from joint actions.

Received: 07/16/2017
Accepted: 08/23/2017
Pages: 121-128
DOI: 10.11621/npj.2017.0412

Sections: Sport Psychology;

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Keywords: cohesion of the group; cohesion of the sports team; subject; subject-subject interaction; level of subjective unity; amateur and professional teams; kind of sport; sport psychology;

Available Online 01.01.2018

Table. 1. Coefficients of rank correlation between the subjective unity index and the group cohesion in children. adolescents and adults.


Correlation Coefficient


Two-tailed significance





Correlation Coefficient


Two-tailed significance





Correlation Coefficient


Two-tailed significance




Table. 2. Coefficients of rank correlation between the scales of group cohesion and the factors of the subjective unity index in children (statistically significant correlations are in italics)


Satisfied with Activity

The rush of energy

Affection for Partners

Confidence in the success of doing something

Individual appeal of communication





Individual appeal of activity





Group unity in communication





Group unity in communication





Table. 3. Coefficients of rank correlation between the scales of group cohesion and factors of the subjective unity index in adolescents (statistically significant correlations are in italics)


Satisfied with Activity

The rush of energy

Affection for Partners

Confidence in the success of doing something

Individual appeal of communication





Individual appeal of activity





Group unity in communication





Group unity in communication





Fig. 1. The factors of the subjective unity index in teams of different professional level

Fig. 2. The group cohesion scales in the teams of different professional level


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For citing this article:

Devishvili V.M., Mdivani M.O., Elgina D.S. (2017). Group cohesion in sports teams of different professional level. National Psychological Journal, 4, 121–128