This study assessed the hormonal and psychological responses to a free-throw shooting competition in twelve NCAA Division I female collegiate basketball players. Salivary cortisol, alpha-amylase, and testosterone were collected before and after the competition, in addition to a self-reported measure of anxiety. Using nonparametric statistics, cortisol (Z = –3.06, p = .002) and testosterone (Z = –2.67, p = .008) levels were significantly higher precompetition compared with postcompetition. There were no statistically significant differences between winners and losers for anxiety or hormone responses. Concentration disruption (rho = .63, p = .03) and total competitive anxiety (rho = .68, p = .02) were positively correlated with precompetition cortisol. Concentration disruption also correlated positively with postcompetition cortisol (rho = .62 p = .03) and postcompetition testosterone (rho = .64, p = .03). Future studies are needed to examine the psychological and physiological stress responses of basketball players during different competition tasks.
Leilani A. Madrigal and Patrick B. Wilson
Maggie Evans, Kelly J. Rohan, Alan Howard, Sheau-Yan Ho, Patricia M. Dubbert, and Barbara A. Stetson
This prospective, naturalistic study examined the relationship between different exercise dimensions (i.e., frequency, intensity, duration, and omissions of planned exercise) and psychological well-being among community adults participating in self-selected exercise. For at least 2 months, participants kept daily exercise diaries and provided weekly ratings for depressed mood, anxiety, sleep quality, concentration, alertness, confidence, weight satisfaction, physical fitness, appetite, satisfaction with physical shape and appearance, and stress experienced. Linear mixed model analyses revealed positive associations between exercise frequency, intensity, and duration across a broad range of psychological and mood-related outcomes. In contrast, omissions of planned exercise were associated with a global and detrimental effect on psychological health. A main effect of age and a moderating effect of gender was observed in many of the models. This work contributes to literature on exercise dimensions and psychological constructs and informs future research that is needed to develop physical activity recommendations for improved mental health.
Jordan Golding, Aaron Johnson, and Andrew T. Sensenig
Psychological momentum in sports is a series of high or low human performances that seem to defy statistical randomness, and instead is often attributed to a positive feedback system in the athlete’s physiology and psyche. Quantitative approaches have found some evidence of psychological momentum. We measured the throw speeds and accuracy of adult males throwing baseballs while subjecting them to verbal criticism (positive or negative). Our study of short-term momentum suggested evidence of psychological momentum only in top-performing university baseball players, and not in the lower-performing players or in nonathletes.
Isobelle J.R. Biggin, Jan H. Burns, and Mark Uphill
Research suggests elite athletes have an equal—or, in some circumstances, possibly higher—probability of developing mental ill-health as the general population. However, understanding of these issues among athletes and coaches remains largely limited. The perceptions of mental-health problems among 19 elite athletes and 16 coaches were explored using two concurrent three-round Delphi surveys whose responses were compared. Athletes and coaches expressed different opinions and experiences of mental ill-health among elite athletes. However, both groups felt the pressure athletes place on themselves is a significant contributing factor and that obsessional compulsive tendencies and anxiety may be particularly prevalent. While associated stigma was thought to be a barrier to seeking support, both groups felt sport and clinical psychologists would provide the most appropriate support, with coaches playing an important signposting role. Implications for athletes, coaches, and clinical and sport psychologists are explored and suggestions for future research are presented.
Ece Bekaroglu and Özlem Bozo
The purpose of the current study was to investigate the relationship between attachment styles, emotion regulation strategies, and their possible effects on health-promoting behaviors among those who participate (N = 109) versus those who do not participate in extreme sports (N = 202). Multiple mediation analyses were conducted to test the hypotheses. Different nonadaptive emotion regulation strategies mediated the relationship between insecure attachment styles and health-promoting behaviors in two groups of the current study. In the extreme sports group, lack of awareness about emotions and lack of goals while dealing with negative emotions mediated the relationship between anxious attachment style and health-promoting behaviors; and lack of goals while dealing with negative emotions mediated the relationship between avoidant attachment style and health-promoting behaviors. In participants who do not engage in extreme sports, lack of clarity about emotions mediated the relationship between anxious attachment style and health-promoting behaviors. Findings and their implications were discussed in the light of the literature.
Mike B. Gross, Andrew T. Wolanin, Rachel A. Pess, and Eugene S. Hong
Michael B. Johnson
The primary purpose of the current article is to supply those who wish to attain employment as a sport psychologist within a university athletic department (SPAD) with relevant information. The content herein describes one clinician’s path to becoming a SPAD, from undergraduate education to current-day work. The author often receives requests (between six and ten a year) from aspiring sport psychologists for information on how he attained his position. The current article begins with a concise presentation of the author’s background. This is followed by a brief overview of his current work. What follows are succinct recommendations for those who seek similar positions, including thoughts on (a) training, (b) the idiosyncratic personality-work environment fit, and (c) developing efficacious interpersonal relationships with those responsible for hiring such positions.
Nicole T. Gabana, Jesse A. Steinfeldt, Y. Joel Wong, and Y. Barry Chung
The present study explored the relationships among gratitude, sport satisfaction, athlete burnout, and perceived social support among college student-athletes in the United States. Participants (N = 293) from 16 different types of sports at 8 NCAA Division I and III institutions were surveyed. Results indicated gratitude was negatively correlated with burnout and positively correlated with sport satisfaction, suggesting that athletes who reported more general gratitude also experienced lower levels of burnout and greater levels of satisfaction with their college sport experience. Perceived social support was found to be a mediator in both relationships. Limitations and implications for research and practice are discussed.
Ryan Sides, Graig Chow, and Gershon Tenenbaum
The purpose of this study was to explore adaptation through the manipulation of perceived task difficulty and self-efficacy to challenge the concepts postulated by the two-perception probabilistic concept of the adaptation phenomenon (TPPCA) conceptual framework. Twenty-four randomized performers completed a handgrip and putting task, at three difficulty levels, to assess their self-efficacy and perceived task difficulty interactions on motivations, affect, and performances. The TPPCA was partially confirmed in both tasks. Specifically, as the task difficulty level increased, arousal increased, pleasantness decreased, and the performance declined. There was no solid support that motivational adaptations were congruent with the TPPCA. The findings pertaining to the human adaptation state represent a first step in encouraging future inquiries in this domain. The findings clarify the notion of perceived task difficulty and self-efficacy discrepancy, which then provokes cognitive appraisals and emotional resources to produce an adaptation response.
Judy L. Van Raalte, Staci R. Andrews, Allen E. Cornelius, Britton W. Brewer, and Albert J. Petitpas
Although graduation rates for intercollegiate student-athletes in the United States have hit record highs in recent years, many student-athletes lag behind their nonathlete peers in terms of career readiness. The purpose of this research was to create and evaluate a theoretically grounded, evidence-based career development workshop for student-athletes. In Study 1, 28 college and university professionals reviewed the Career Self-Exploration for Student-Athletes Workshop Presenter’s Guide and online training videos. Workshop materials were revised based on feedback received. In Study 2, a national sample of 158 student-athletes participated in a controlled field trial. Results indicated that participating in the Career Self-Exploration for Student-Athletes Workshop enhanced student-athletes’ career self-efficacy relative to a control group. These findings suggest that the Career Self-Exploration for Student-Athletes Workshop, available online for free, can be used by campus professionals to enhance career development opportunities for student-athletes across geographic regions and resource availability levels.