The Relationship Between Gratitude and Religious Identification of NCAA Athletes: A Replication Study

in Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology
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  • 1 University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • | 2 Indiana University Bloomington
  • | 3 California State University
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A holistic, multicultural approach to student-athlete mental health, well-being, and performance promotes the consideration of spiritual and religious identities in counseling and consultation. Preliminary research supports the interconnectedness of spirituality, religiosity, and gratitude in athletes; thus, this study sought to replicate Gabana, D’Addario, Luzzeri, and Soendergaard's study (2020) and extend the literature by examining a larger, independently sampled, more diverse data set and multiple types of gratitude. National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I–III student-athletes (N = 596) were surveyed to better understand how religious and spiritual identity related to trait, general-state, and sport-state gratitude. Results supported past research; athletes who self-identified as being both spiritual and religious reported greater dispositional (trait) gratitude than those who self-identified as spiritual/nonreligious or nonspiritual/nonreligious. Between group differences were not found when comparing general-state and sport-state gratitude. Findings strengthen and extend the understanding of spirituality, religion, and gratitude in sport. Limitations, practical implications, and future directions are discussed.

Gabana is with the Department of Athletics, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA, USA. Ruser is with the Indiana University Bloomington, Bloomington, IN, USA. Yukhymenko-Lescroart and Gilbert are with the California State University, Fresno, Fresno, CA, USA.

Gabana (ngabana@umass.edu) is corresponding author.
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