J.D. DeFreese, Travis E. Dorsch, and Travis A. Flitton
Burnout and engagement are important psychological outcomes in sport with potential to impact athletes as well as sport parents. The present study examined associations among markers of the sport-based parent child-relationship (warmth and conflict) and parent burnout and engagement in organized youth sport. Youth sport parents (N = 214) aged 26–66 years (M = 43.2, SD = 6.2) completed valid and reliable self-report assessments of study variables. Study results showcased warmth, but not conflict, in the parent–child relationship as a significant negative contributor to global burnout and a significant positive contributor to global engagement in sport parents. Results offer preliminary insight into the impact of parent–child warmth in sport on parents’ experiences of burnout and engagement. Findings have implications for future research and practice designed to promote positive psychosocial experiences for sport families.
Vellapandian Ponnusamy, Michelle Guerrero, and Jeffrey J. Martin
Elite Malaysian athletes (N = 179) from integrated and segregated sports rated the perceived importance of eight psychological strategies for improving performance using two different response format methods, a Likert rating scale and forced-choice. A forced-choice procedure produced better discrimination among the skills than a Likert rating scale procedure. We also found that the ratings of importance differed as a function of sport type and gender. Specifically, athletes in integrated sports placed more importance on setting team goals and clarifying roles/responsibilities compared to athletes in segregated sports. At the same time, participants in segregated sports viewed setting personal goals, psych-up strategies, and imagery as more important for performance than those in integrated sports. Significant interaction effects indicated that, within segregated sports, females rated positive self-talk higher than males, but communication skills were rated higher by males than by females.
Esmie P. Smith, Andrew P. Hill, and Howard K. Hall
The relationship between perfectionism, burnout and depression among youth soccer players is of interest due to the competitive academy environments that must be navigated in order to become a professional soccer player. Three alternative theoretical models have been proposed to explain the relationship between perfectionism, burnout and depression. These models state that perfectionism is (a) a vulnerability factor for burnout and depression (vulnerability model), (b) a consequence of burnout and depression (complication/scar model), or (c) that the relationships are reciprocal (reciprocal relations model). The purpose of this study was to test these three models in youth soccer players. One hundred and eight male soccer players (M = 16.15 years, SD = 1.84) from professional clubs completed measures of perfectionism, burnout symptoms, and depressive symptoms twice, three months apart. Cross-lagged panel analysis provided support for a reciprocal relations model for burnout symptoms and a complication/scar model for depressive symptoms.
Duncan Simpson and Lauren P. Elberty
Phenomenological interviews were conducted with nine collegiate student-athletes (M = 24.11 years; SD = 3.76), from a range of sports, to explore how they experienced the unexpected death of a teammate. Qualitative analysis of interview data revealed a total of 626 meaning units which were used to produce a final thematic structure consisting of six higher order themes: Emotional Response, Behavioral Response, Faith, Social Support, Team Cohesion, and Change of Life Perspective. The results suggest that student-athletes who experience the unexpected death of a teammate go through a wide range of emotional (e.g., shock, denial) and behavioral responses (e.g., deliberate isolation from others, tributes), which ultimately changed their perspective on life. The specific nuances of these experiences offer several practical applications for sport psychology consultants, coaches, and administrators wishing to provide support to this population during such a difficult time.
Johanna Belz, Jens Kleinert, Jeannine Ohlert, Thea Rau, and Marc Allroggen
Adolescence is a vulnerable period for the development of depression. Research on depression in athletes including adolescent athletes, however, is scarce. The purpose of the present study was to assess the risk for depression depending on the athletes’ age, gender, and performance level. Data were collected from 1,799 German national and state team athletes. The PHQ-2 and the WHO-5 were administered to assess the athletes’ risk for depression and current state of psychological well-being. Overall, 13% of the athletes were screened positive for depression and 10% for impaired well-being. Adolescents, females and athletes of junior national teams showed a higher risk for depression and/or lower well-being than other subgroups. The finding that adolescent athletes are more vulnerable to suffer from depressive symptoms than adult athletes mirrors finding in the general population. Screening tools for depression should be followed up by clinical expert interviews to provide an external criterion for the obtained results.
Jeffrey J. Milroy, Stephen Hebard, Emily Kroshus, and David L. Wyrick
Between 2001 and 2015, 3.4 million traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurrences in the U.S. were accounted for by sport participation. It is estimated between 12% and 60% of athletes delay seeking care after sustaining a concussion. Differences in sport-related concussion (SRC) reporting have been attributed to several different factors. Whereas prior research related to SRC reporting behavior focus on normative and competitive pressures to continue play, less attention is given to the interpersonal context in which reporting takes place. Grounded in attachment theory, this study investigated relationships between coach-athlete attachment and help-seeking behavior. Findings suggest that as coach-athlete anxiousness increases, not reporting increases. and as coach-athlete secureness increases, not reporting decreases. Logistic regression analyses indicate that secure coach attachment significantly predicts greater likelihood of SRC reporting. These findings underscore the important role coach-athlete relationships may have on care-seeking behaviors of student-athletes and can inform individual and group interventions promoting SRC reporting.
Raphael Frank, Insa Nixdorf, and Jürgen Beckmann
Findings on burnout and depression in athletes highlight their potential severity. Although both constructs are discussed in similar, stress-based concepts, it is unclear how they relate to each other. To address this issue, we conducted a crosssectional multiple linear regression analysis (MLR; N = 194) and a longitudinal analysis of a three-wave cross-lagged panel (CLP; n = 92) in German junior elite athletes. MLR showed that depression and burnout were both associated with chronic stress. Stress was a significant better predictor for both burnout and depression than each was for the other. CLP analysis on the constructs of burnout and depression revealed support for cross-paths in both directions. Thus, burnout and depression might cause each other to some degree, with no distinct direction of this link. However, as both syndromes do not fully explain each other, interchanging both terms and syndromes should be avoided. Preferably, future research might consider the transfer of knowledge between both syndromes to draw founded conclusions.
Adam Kern, William Heininger, Emily Klueh, Stephanie Salazar, Barbara Hansen, Trish Meyer, and Daniel Eisenberg
Student-athletes experience mental health problems, but they often encounter barriers to seeking help. This study reports findings from the pilot phase of Athletes Connected (AC), a new research and practice program at the University of Michigan addressing mental health and help-seeking behaviors among collegiate student-athletes. Members of the AC team gave presentations consisting of contact- and education-based interventions to every varsity athletic team at a large Division I Midwestern university, along with pre- and postsurvey questionnaires to measure their efficacy. The presentations included an educational overview of mental health, two videos highlighting former student-athletes’ struggles with mental illnesses, and a discussion at the end with the former athletes portrayed in the videos. A total of 626 student-athletes completed the pre- and postsurveys. Results indicated significant increases in knowledge and positive attitudes toward mental health and help-seeking. These results suggest that brief contact- and education-based interventions may be helpful in reducing stigma and promoting help-seeking behavior among college student-athletes.