Newspaper Portrayals of Sport Psychology in the United States, 1985-1993

in The Sport Psychologist
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To assess the way in which sport psychology is portrayed in the media, the content and tone of all articles (N = 574) from three national newspapers in the United States that mentioned sport psychology from 1985-1993 were examined. Although few articles were focused primarily on sport psychology, a wide variety of sports and professionals were identified in association with sport psychology. Interventions noted explicitly were predominantly cognitive-behavioral procedures. Performance enhancement was the primary purpose of sport psychology consultation described in the articles. The vast majority of articles were neutral in tone toward sport psychology, portraying the field in objective terms. The findings suggest that the mass media can be used to promote accurate perceptions of sport psychology to the public.

Britton W. Brewer, Judy L. Van Raalte, Albert J. Petitpas, Alan D. Bachman, and Robert A. Weinhold are all with the Center for Performance Enhancement and Applied Research, Department of Psychology, Springfield College, Springfield, MA 01109.