The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between studentathletes’ perceptions of the motivational climate on their sport teams and their own career exploration and engagement and athletic identity. Student-athletes (N = 101) from various National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I institutions were administered online surveys. Canonical correlation analysis was used to examine the relationship between the climate variables (i.e., caring, task, and ego) and athletic identity, career self-efficacy, and career exploration/engagement. One significant function emerged: Perceptions of a high task-involving climate and moderate caring climate were positively associated with athletes’ reporting higher athletic identity, career self-efficacy, and career exploration/engagement. Results suggest that Division I athletes may benefit from having coaches who foster a caring and task-involving team climate with regard to the athletes’ development as holistic individuals who spend their college years performing at a high level of sport and also preparing for their lives after college and sports.
Kiira N. Poux and Mary D. Fry
Jeffrey J. Martin, Brigid Byrd, Michele Lewis Watts, and Maana Dent
The purpose of the current study was to predict both general and sport-specific quality of life using measures of grit, hardiness, and resilience. Seventy-five adults (74 men, 1 woman) who are wheelchair basketball athletes participated in the current study. Twenty-six percent of the variance in life satisfaction was accounted for. Both hardiness and resilience accounted for meaningful variance, as indicated by their significant beta weights. Twenty-two percent of the variance in sport engagement was predicted; resilience and grit accounted for meaningful variance, as indicated by their significant beta weight. The regression results indicate that athletes reporting the highest levels of grit and resilience tended to also be the most engaged in their sport, and athletes with high levels of hardiness and resilience reported the highest quality of life. The descriptive results support an affirmation model of disability for the current sample of wheelchair athletes in that they reported moderate to strong levels of resiliency, grit, hardiness, sport engagement, and a high quality of life.
Dana K. Voelker and Justine J. Reel
In this study, the authors examined female competitive figure skaters’ experiences of weight pressure in sport. Perceptions of the ideal skating body; sources of weight pressure; ways that body image, weight-management behaviors, and athletic performance have been affected; and recommendations for improving body image were explored. Aligning with a social constructivist view (Creswell, 2014), data were analyzed using an inductive thematic approach (Braun & Clarke, 2006). Skaters described the ideal skating body in an inflexible fashion with little room for deviation and acceptance of body diversity. Skaters cited their first weightpressure experience between 7 and 14 years of age, which most notably involved coaches, parents, skating partners, and other aspects of the skating culture. These experiences were characterized as promoting body-image concerns, unhealthy weight-management strategies, and interference with the psychological aspects of on-ice performance. Results from this study demonstrate the need to construct and maintain body-positive skating environments.
Gary Robinson and Mark Freeston
A growing body of research has provided evidence for intolerance of uncertainty (IU)—a dispositional characteristic resulting from negative beliefs about uncertainty and its implications—as a possible transdiagnostic maintaining factor across a range of anxiety disorders. No studies have yet examined IU in performance anxiety in sport. The purpose of the present investigation, therefore, was to investigate the relationship between IU and performance anxiety in sport. Participants included 160 university athletes (51% female) who completed measures of IU, performance anxiety, and robustness of sport confidence. Regression analyses revealed that the inhibitory dimension of IU and robustness of sport confidence were significant predictors of performance anxiety. A simple mediation model was also tested and suggested indirect and direct effects of inhibitory IU on performance anxiety symptoms through robustness of sport confidence. Implications of these findings for researchers and practitioners and directions for future research are discussed.
William V. Massey, Stacy L. Gnacinski, and Barbara B. Meyer
Research has demonstrated the efficacy of psychological skills training (PST), yet many athletes do not appear ready to do whatever it takes to improve the mental aspects of performance. Although the transtheoretical model of behavior change (TTM), generally, and readiness to change, specifically, have received considerable attention in a range of allied health fields, few studies have been conducted to examine this construct in applied sport psychology. The purpose of the current study was to examine National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I athletes’ readiness for PST as it relates to their stage of change, decisional balance, self-efficacy, and use of processes of change. The data trends observed in the current study were consistent with the theoretical underpinnings of the TTM as well as previous research on NCAA Division I athletes. The results of the current study highlight the need to consider readiness to change when designing and implementing PST interventions.
Ashley Coker-Cranney and Justine J. Reel
When athletes “uncritically accept” the coaching expectations associated with their sport, negative health consequences (e.g., disordered eating behaviors, clinical eating disorders) may result. The coach’s influence on disordered eating behaviors may be a product of factors related to overconformity to the sport ethic, issues with coach communication regarding recommendations for weight management, and the strength of the coach-athlete relationship. The present study investigated perceived weight-related coach pressure, the coach-athlete relationship, and disordered eating behaviors by surveying 248 female varsity athletes and dancers from four universities. Mediational analysis revealed that the coach-athlete relationship was a partial mediating variable between perceived coach pressures and disordered eating behaviors. Subsequently, strong relationships between coaches and their athletes may reduce the negative impact of perceived weight-related coach pressure on the development or exacerbation of disordered eating behaviors in female collegiate athletes.
Leonardo de Sousa Fortes, Santiago Tavares Paes, Clara Mockede Neves, Juliana Fernandes Filgueiras Meireles, and Maria Elisa Caputo Ferreira
The aim of this study was to compare the media-ideal and athletic internalization of gymnasts to track and field sprinters. Eighty-three female track and field sprinters and 50 female gymnasts participated. The subscales of the Sociocultural Attitudes Toward Appearance Questionnaire-3 were used to evaluate the influence of the media on body image. The Body Shape Questionnaire was used to assess body dissatisfaction. The results showed no difference between the groups in media-ideal internalization (p > .05); however, the results indicated differences in athletic internalization (p < .05) and body dissatisfaction (p < .05). We concluded that although media-ideal internalization was similar, gymnasts showed greater athletic internalization.
Judy L. Van Raalte, Allen E. Cornelius, Staci Andrews, Nancy S. Diehl, and Britton W. Brewer
Physically and mentally healthy student-athletes are in a good position to thrive academically, socially, and athletically. Unfortunately, many student-athletes fail to get the mental health help they need due to factors such as lack of knowledge and mental health stigma. The purpose of this research was to create and evaluate a multimedia, interactive website (www.SupportForSport.org) to enable student-athletes to gain the necessary knowledge and confidence to make effective mental health referrals. Study 1 was conducted to determine if the website functioned as intended. In Study 2, 27 intercollegiate athletic directors and coaches evaluated the website. Their favorable evaluations led to Study 3, a controlled field trial with a national sample of 153 student-athletes. Results indicated that viewing the www.SupportForSport.org site resulted in enhanced mental health referral knowledge and efficacy relative to a control group. These results suggest that tailored online programming can affect outcomes for student-athletes across geographic regions and resource availability levels.
Henrik Gustafsson, Therése Skoog, Paul Davis, Göran Kenttä, and Peter Haberl
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between dispositional mindfulness and burnout and whether this relationship is mediated by perceived stress, negative affect, and positive affect in elite junior athletes. Participants were 233 (123 males and 107 females) adolescent athletes, ranging in age from 15–19 years (M = 17.50; SD = 1.08). Bivariate correlations revealed that mindfulness had a significant negative relationship with both perceived stress and burnout. To investigate mediation, we employed nonparametric bootstrapping analyses. These analyses indicated that positive affect fully mediated links between mindfulness and sport devaluation. Further, positive affect and negative affect partially mediated the relationships between mindfulness and physical/emotional exhaustion, as well as between mindfulness and reduced sense of accomplishment. The results point toward mindfulness being negatively related to burnout in athletes and highlight the role of positive affect. Future research should investigate the longitudinal effect of dispositional mindfulness on stress and burnout.
Ryan Sappington and Kathryn Longshore
The field of applied sport psychology has traditionally grounded its performance enhancement techniques in the cognitive-behavioral elements of psychological skills training. These interventions typically advocate for controlling one’s cognitive and emotional processes during performance. Mindfulness-based approaches, on the other hand, have recently been introduced and employed more frequently in an effort to encourage athletes to adopt a nonjudgmental acceptance of all thoughts and emotions. Like many applied interventions in sport psychology, however, the body of literature supporting the efficacy of mindfulness-based approaches for performance enhancement is limited, and few efforts have been made to draw evidence-based conclusions from the existing research. The current paper had the purpose of systematically reviewing research on mindfulness-based interventions with athletes to assess (a) the efficacy of these approaches in enhancing sport performance and (b) the methodological quality of research conducted thus far. A comprehensive search of relevant databases, including peer-reviewed and gray literature, yielded 19 total trials (six case studies, two qualitative studies, seven nonrandomized trials, and four randomized trials) in accordance with the inclusion criteria. An assessment tool was used to score studies on the quality of research methodology. While a review of this literature yielded preliminary support for the efficacy of mindfulness-based performance enhancement strategies, the body of research also shows a need for more methodologically rigorous trials.