Female high school athletes playing volleyball and soccer (N = 32) responded to a social validity questionnaire that inquired about their experiences with a sportfocused mindfulness training program. On average, the student-athletes rated most highly the effects of mindfulness training on emotional awareness and attention focusing, the contribution of mindfulness toward team play, the benefit of having coaches learn mindfulness skills, and the application of mindfulness to other sports. There were dissimilar ratings between the volleyball and soccer student-athletes concerning use of mindfulness when preparing for and during games. Most of the formal mindfulness practices taught during the training program were rated as being helpful to very helpful. We discuss factors influencing these findings and implications for mindfulness–sport performance research.
Douglas Worthen and James K. Luiselli
Jessica J. DeGaetano, Andrew T. Wolanin, Donald R. Marks, and Shiloh M. Eastin
The purpose of this study was to explore the influence of psychosocial factors and psychological flexibility on rehabilitation protocol adherence in a sample of injured collegiate athletes. Self-report measures were given to injured athletes before the start of a physical rehabilitation protocol. Upon completion of rehabilitation, each athlete was assessed by the chief athletic trainer using a measure of rehabilitation adherence. Correlational analyses and bootstrapped logistic regression analyses were conducted to determine whether broad psychosocial factors and level of psychological flexibility predicted engagement and adherence to a rehabilitation protocol. Psychological flexibility, as measured on the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire (2nd ed.; Bond et al., 2011), contributed significantly to the overall logistic regression model. Study findings suggested that assessment of psychological flexibility could give medical providers a way to evaluate both quickly and quantitatively potentially problematic behavioral responding among injured athletes, allowing for more effective adherence monitoring.
Meghan Schreck, Robert Althoff, Meike Bartels, Eco de Geus, Jeremy Sibold, Christine Giummo, David Rubin, and James Hudziak
Few studies have explored the relation between withdrawn behavior (WB) and exercise and screen time. The current study used exploratory factor analysis to examine the factor structure of leisure-time exercise behavior (LTEB) and screentime sedentary behavior (STSB) in a clinical sample of youth. Structural equation modeling was employed to investigate the relations between WB and LTEB and STSB, conditional on gender. WB was assessed using the Child Behavior Checklist, and LTEB and STSB were measured using the Vermont Health Behavior Questionnaire. LTEB and STSB emerged as two separate factors. Gender moderated the structure of STSB only. For boys and girls, WB was inversely related to LTEB but not significantly related to STSB. LTEB and STSB are best represented as distinct, uncorrelated constructs. In addition, withdrawn youth may be at risk for poor health outcomes due to lower rates of LTEB. Mental health clinicians, sports psychologists, and related providers may be uniquely qualified to enhance motivation for sports participation in withdrawn youth.
Erik Lundkvist, Henrik Gustafsson, Paul Davis, and Peter Hassmén
The aims of this study were to (a) examine the associations between workaholism and work-related exhaustion and (b) examine associations between work–home/ home–work interference and work-related exhaustion in 261 Swedish coaches. Quantile regression showed that workaholism is only associated with exhaustion for coaches who score high on exhaustion, that negative work–home interference has a stronger association with exhaustion than negative home–work interference, and that the coaches on a mean level scored low on all measured constructs. In addition, coaches in the higher percentiles have a higher risk for burnout. Our results highlight the importance of studying coach exhaustion with respect to aspects that extend beyond the sports life.
Leadership is often formalized within sport through captaincy, but researchers have yet to examine the realities of captaincy at the highest level of professional competition. The current study examined the benefits, pressures, and challenges of leadership and captaincy in the National Hockey League (NHL). One captain of an NHL team participated in two in-depth interviews, providing thorough descriptions of his first-hand experiences as an NHL captain, including (a) the techniques he uses to manage his media obligations, (b) his role as a communication bridge between players and coaches, (c) the composition of his leadership group, and (d) examples of interactions that occur during player-only meetings. The transition to captaincy was considered an especially challenging and pressure-filled period. Practical implications for sport psychology consultants are discussed in terms of how they can assist captains of elite competitive teams in setting realistic expectations for their leadership role.
John Scott-Hamilton and Nicola S. Schutte
This study examined the role of degree of adherence in a mindfulness-based intervention on mindfulness, flow, sport anxiety, and sport-related pessimistic attributions in athletes. Twelve athletes participated in an 8-week mindfulness intervention which incorporated a mindfulness focus on movement training component. Participants completed baseline and posttest measures of mindfulness, flow, sport anxiety, and sport-related pessimistic attributions, and they filled out daily mindfulness-training logbooks documenting their frequency and duration of mindfulness practice. Participants were identified as either high adherence or low adherence with mindfulness-training based on a composite score of logbook practice records and workshop attendance. Athletes high in adherence, operationalized as following recommended practice of mindfulness exercises, showed significantly greater increases in mindfulness and aspects of flow, and significantly greater decreases in pessimism and anxiety than low adherence athletes. Greater increases in mindfulness from baseline to posttest were associated with greater increases in flow and greater decreases in pessimism. Increases in flow were associated with decreases in somatic anxiety and pessimism.
Leilani Madrigal, Katherine Wurst, and Diane L. Gill
In this study, we explored mental toughness, injury response, and coping among female athletes in roller derby (n = 68) and collegiate rugby (n = 122). Participants completed a survey with measures of mental toughness, hardiness, optimism, coping with injury and psychological response to injury, as well as questions regarding injury status. Injured roller derby players had a more negative response to injury than injured rugby players, but did not differ on mental toughness. Mental toughness was related to approach styles of coping and negatively related to adverse psychological responses to injury. Rugby players who would play through injury reported higher mental toughness than those who would not play through injury; however, the reverse was found for roller derby players. Mental toughness is related to adaptive coping and positive injury response, but also to engaging in activity when injured, with potential detrimental effects.
Rachel S. Wahto, Joshua K. Swift, and Jason L. Whipple
The purposes of this study were to (a) examine the relationships between public stigma, self-stigma, and mental health help-seeking attitudes in college studentathletes, and (b) test whether referral source would have an impact on student-athletes’ willingness to seek mental health help. Participating college student-athletes (n = 43) completed an online survey including measures of stigma (public and self), attitudes, and willingness to seek mental health help. The results indicated that public stigma and self-stigma predicted a significant proportion of variance in attitudes (66%) above and beyond gender and treatment-use history. In addition, student-athletes were more willing to seek help when referred by a family member compared with a coach (d = 0.89), a teammate (d = 1.05), or oneself (d = 1.28). The results have important implications for helping student-athletes seek mental health help when there is a need.
Michael Amrhein, Harald Barkhoff, and Elaine M. Heiby
Although research on the psychological correlates of ocean surfing is scarce, substantial anecdotal evidence suggests that the sport offers a uniquely positive experience. Prior research has demonstrated that surfers report fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety than normative groups, but no explanation has been identified. Greater spirituality has been correlated with lower depression and anxiety, and many surfers have described surfing as a spiritual experience, indicating a potential connection. One hundred surfers were recruited from the Hawaiian Islands and the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. Participants reported their surfing habits and levels of their spiritual surfing experiences. Standardized tests were used to measure participants’ spirituality, depression, and anxiety levels. Results indicated that surfers reported fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety than most available normative groups. Results also demonstrated that greater spirituality is associated with less depression and more spiritual surfing experiences.
Timothy LaVigne, Betsy Hoza, Alan L. Smith, Erin K. Shoulberg, and William Bukowski
We examined the relation between physical fitness and psychological well-being in children ages 10–14 years (N = 222), and the potential moderation of this relation by sex. Participants completed a physical fitness assessment comprised of seven tasks and a diverse set of self-report well-being measures assessing depressive symptoms, loneliness, and competence. Peers reported on social status and teachers rated adaptive functioning, internalizing symptoms, and externalizing symptoms. Multiple regression analyses indicated a significant association between physical fitness and psychological well-being for both boys and girls. Higher levels of physical fitness were associated with lower levels of peer dyadic loneliness and fewer depressive symptoms; greater cognitive, social, and athletic competence; greater feelings of self-worth; and better teacher reports of adaptive functioning. An interaction between internalizing and sex indicated a significant and negative association between physical fitness and internalizing symptoms for males only. No other moderation effects by sex were observed. Results suggest that physical fitness is associated with a range of well-being indicators for both boys and girls in this age group.