Empathic accuracy, meta-perspective, and satisfaction in the coach-athlete relationship
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This study investigated the empathic accuracy of sixty coach-athlete dyads, its antecedents (meta-perceptions of relationship) and consequences (perceptions of satisfaction). An adaptation of Ickes's (2001) unstructured dyadic interaction paradigm was used to assess empathic accuracy whereby coach-athlete dyads were filmed during training. A selection of video clips containing the dyads' interactions during a typical training session were shown to them. The dyad members were asked to report their recollected thoughts and/or feelings while making inferences about what their partners' thought and felt at specific points of interaction. Empathic accuracy was estimated by comparing the dyads' self-reports and inferences. The results of a structural equation model analysis indicated an association between members' meta-perceptions or judgments that their partner is positive about the athletic relationship and increased empathic accuracy. Increased empathic accuracy was in turn associated with higher levels of satisfaction. These results are discussed based on issues they raise for theory and measurement.