Over 80% of National Football League (NFL) retirees experience daily pain. Pain acceptance is an important psychological construct implicated in the intensity of chronic pain, though these findings have not been extended to NFL retirees. Therefore, the current study examined the association between pain acceptance and pain intensity among former NFL athletes. NFL retirees (N = 90) recruited from 2018 to 2019 completed questionnaires that assessed pain, substance use, and NFL career information. Multiple linear regression examined the association between current pain acceptance and pain intensity while adjusting for other risk factors of pain. NFL retirees reported average scores of 33.31 (SD = 10.00), and 2.18 (SD = 2.40) on measures of pain acceptance and pain intensity, respectively. After covariate adjustment, greater pain acceptance (β = −0.538, p < .001) was associated with lower pain intensity. These findings can further inform the behavioral and mental health care of retired NFL athletes.
Zachary L. Mannes, Erin G. Ferguson, Nicole Ennis, Deborah S. Hasin, and Linda B. Cottler
Siobhan K. Fitzpatrick and Janine V. Olthuis
American student-athletes (SAs) are at heightened risk for hazardous alcohol consumption compared with their nonathlete peers. However, little is known about this risk or the influence of psychosocial predictors on drinking behavior among Canadian SAs. This study compared rates of alcohol use across Canadian SAs and nonathletes and investigated whether the use of athlete-specific psychosocial predictors can improve the prediction of alcohol use outcomes in SAs. Participants (179 varsity athletes and 366 nonathletes) completed anonymous self-report questionnaires. Results suggest that Canadian athletes are at a heightened risk for experiencing alcohol-related problems compared with nonathletes, with general psychosocial predictors explaining the majority of variance in SA alcohol use. However, and quite notably, athlete-specific positive reinforcement motives predicted SA binge drinking. This research provides some of the first evidence of drinking-related problems among Canadian SAs and supports the potential use of preventative efforts to help SAs develop safe strategies for alcohol use.
Carrie B. Scherzer, Jeremy Trenchuk, Meaghan Peters, and Robert Mazury
Athletes can be at elevated risk for developing eating disorders, the effects of which can be devastating. Few researchers have examined the influence of a predisposition toward an eating disorder on athletic injury. Exercise dependence might bridge the gap toward understanding this relationship. This study sought to examine the relationship between predisposition toward an eating disorder and exercise dependence and looked at both as predictors of athletic injury. College students (n = 132) completed the Eating Disorders Inventory and the Exercise Dependence Questionnaire, as well as provided demographic, activity, and injury information. Subscales of the Eating Disorders Inventory and Exercise Dependence Questionnaire were significant predictors of having at least one athletic injury in the preceding year. These findings suggest that both predisposition toward an eating disorder and exercise dependence may be contributing factors to injury.
Tsz Lun (Alan) Chu, Bailey Sommerfeld, and Tao Zhang
Building on recent research examining athlete burnout trajectories, this study implemented the developmental model of sport participation to compare emotional and physical exhaustion, reduced sense of accomplishment, and sport devaluation between age groups (specializing [aged 13–15 years] vs. investment [aged 16–18 years]) and gender (boys vs. girls) among U.S. high school athletes. Participants were 367 high school athletes (M = 15.53; 212 males; 186 specializing) across various individual and team sports who completed a survey assessing their demographic information, sport backgrounds, and burnout perceptions. A 2 × 2 multivariate analysis of covariance, controlling for training hours, showed greater emotional and physical exhaustion and sport devaluation in the investment than the specializing group, but no developmental differences in reduced sense of accomplishment. Contrary to our hypothesis, no gender or interaction effects were found. Findings inform interventions and future research that address the role of developmental stages and gender in athlete burnout.
Aaron S. Fox, Reed Ferber, and Jason Bonacci
Altered gait variability occurs in those with patellofemoral pain and may be relevant to pain progression. We examined gait kinematic and coordination variability between individuals with acute and chronic patellofemoral pain and healthy controls. Eighty-three patellofemoral pain runners (37 men and 46 women) and 142 healthy controls (52 men and 90 women) ran on a treadmill while 3-dimensional lower limb kinematic data were collected. Patellofemoral pain runners were split into acute (n = 22) and chronic (n = 61) subgroups based on pain duration (< and ≥3 mo, respectively). Approximate entropy assessed continuous hip, knee, and ankle kinematic variability. Vector coding calculated coordination variability for select joint couplings. Variability measures were compared between groups using 1-way analysis of variance and post hoc comparisons with Cohen d effect sizes. The chronic patellofemoral pain subgroup displayed higher frontal plane knee kinematic variability compared with controls (P = .0004, d = 0.550). No statistically significant effects for any coordination variability couplings were identified. Minimal differences in gait variability were detected between those with acute and chronic patellofemoral pain and healthy controls.
Dean R. Watson, Andrew P. Hill, and Daniel J. Madigan
Attitudes toward help-seeking will contribute to whether athletes ask for support for performance and mental health issues when needed. While research outside of sport has found perfectionism is related to negative attitudes toward help-seeking, no studies have examined the relationship in sport. The authors provided the first test of whether perfectionism predicted attitudes toward both sport psychology support and mental health support. One hundred and sixty-six collegiate athletes completed measures of perfectionism and attitudes toward sport psychology support and mental health support. Multiple regression analyses revealed that perfectionistic concerns positively predicted closedness and stigma toward sport psychology support and mental health support, and negatively predicted help-seeking toward mental health support. However, perfectionistic strivings negatively predicted stigma toward sport psychology support and mental health support, and positively predicted confidence in sport psychology support and help-seeking toward mental health support. Athletes higher in perfectionistic concerns are less likely to seek support when required.
Georgia A. Bird, Mary L. Quinton, and Jennifer Cumming
This study investigated the relationship between reappraisal and suppression with depression and mental well-being among university athletes. It was hypothesized reappraisal would associate with lower depression and greater mental well-being, whereas suppression would associate with greater depression and reduced mental well-being. Employing a cross-sectional design, 427 participants (M age = 20.18, SD = 1.52; 188 males and 239 females) completed questionnaires assessing mental health and strategy use. Hierarchical multiple regressions revealed reappraisal was positively associated, and suppression negatively associated with mental well-being, ΔR 2 = 4.8%, ΔF(2, 422) = 17.01, p ≤ .001; suppression, β = −0.08, p = .028; reappraisal, β = 0.21, p ≤ .001, but neither were associated with depression, ΔR 2 = 0.4%, ΔF(2, 422) = 1.33, p = .267; suppression, β = 0.06, p = .114; reappraisal, β = 0.03, p = .525. Results highlight reappraisal as correlated with mental well-being in student-athletes, and therefore, reappraisal could be beneficial for managing stress in sport. Reappraisal may implicate how well-being is promoted through sport, but future experimental research is needed to confirm causal relationships.
Jeff M. Barrett, Colin D. McKinnon, Clark R. Dickerson, and Jack P. Callaghan
Relatively few biomechanical models exist aimed at quantifying the mechanical risk factors associated with neck pain. In addition, there is a need to validate spinal-rhythm techniques for inverse dynamics spine models. Therefore, the present investigation was 3-fold: (1) the development of a cervical spine model in OpenSim, (2) a test of a novel spinal-rhythm technique based on minimizing the potential energy in the passive tissues, and (3) comparison of an electromyographically driven approach to estimating compression and shear to other cervical spine models. The authors developed ligament force–deflection and intervertebral joint moment–angle curves from published data. The 218 Hill-type muscle elements, representing 58 muscles, were included and their passive forces validated against in vivo data. Our novel spinal-rhythm technique, based on minimizing the potential energy in the passive tissues, disproportionately assigned motion to the upper cervical spine that was not physiological. Finally, using kinematics and electromyography collected from 8 healthy male volunteers, the authors calculated the compression at C7–T1 as a function of the head–trunk Euler angles. Differences from other models varied from 25.5 to 368.1 N. These differences in forces may result in differences in model geometry, passive components, number of degrees of freedom, or objective functions.
Bryony Buck, Scott Beveridge, Gerard Breaden Madden, and Hans-Christian Jabusch
Background: High-speed drumming requires precise control over the timing, velocity, and magnitude of striking movements. Aim: To examine effects of tempo and expertise on unaccented repetitive drumming performance using 3D motion capture. Methods: Expert and amateur drummers performed unimanual, unaccented, repetitive drum strikes, using their dominant right hand, at five different tempi. Performance was examined with regard to timing variability, striking velocity variability, the ability to match the prescribed tempo, and additional variables. Results: Permutated multivariate analysis of variance (PERMANOVA) revealed significant main effects of tempo (p < .001) and expertise (p <.001) on timing variability and striking velocity variability; low timing variability and low striking velocity variability were associated with low/medium tempo as well as with increased expertise. Individually, improved precision appeared across an optimum tempo range. Precision was poorest at maximum tempo (400 hits per minute) for precision variables. Conclusions: Expert drummers demonstrated greater precision and consistency than amateurs. Findings indicate an optimum tempo range that extends with increased expertise.
Kristen M. Stearns-Reider, Rachel K. Straub, and Christopher M. Powers
Peak knee valgus has been shown to predict anterior cruciate ligament injury. The purpose of the current study was to compare peak rate of torque development (RTD) to peak isometric torque as a predictor of peak knee valgus during landing. Twenty-three healthy females participated. Hip abductor muscle performance was quantified using 2 types of isometric contractions: sustained and rapid. Peak isometric torque was calculated from the sustained isometric contraction. Peak RTD was calculated from the rapid isometric contraction (0–50 and 0–200 ms after force initiation). Kinematic data were collected during the deceleration phase of a double-leg drop jump task. Linear regression was used to assess the ability of hip abductor muscle performance variables to predict peak knee valgus. Increased peak RTD during the 0 to 50 milliseconds window after force initiation was found to significantly predict lower peak knee valgus (P = .011, R 2 = .32). In contrast, neither peak RTD from 0 to 200 milliseconds after force initiation window (P = .45, R 2 = .03) nor peak isometric torque (P = .49, R 2 = .03) predicted peak knee valgus. The inability of the hip abductors to rapidly generate muscular force may be more indicative of “at-risk” movement behavior in females than measures of maximum strength.