This study examined the stress coping strategies of athletes with high psychological vulnerability. The participants were 487 university athletes (mean age = 19.8 years, SD = 0.88, 153 women). Data were collected using the Vulnerability Scale for University Athletes and General Coping Questionnaire and analyzed by conducting a multivariate analysis of variance. The results showed significant relationships between vulnerability and coping strategies (r = .11−.39). Vulnerability was most strongly related to the emotional support seeking aspect of emotion-oriented coping (r = .39). There was no significant difference in cognitive reinterpretation (r = .07). Vulnerability had a stronger relationship with emotion-oriented than problem-oriented coping, and high (vs. low) vulnerability athletes had significantly higher emotion-oriented-coping scores. These results suggest that vulnerable athletes need to be provided with appropriate emotional support to cope with stressful situations, as they rely heavily on a stress management strategy focusing on emotion regulation.
Shinji Yamaguchi, Yujiro Kawata, Yuka Murofushi, Nobuto Shibata, and Tsuneyoshi Ota
Rena M.G. Curvey, Shannon C. White, Emily A. Murphy, Travis R. Scheadler, Myles T. Englis, Laura L. Phelps, and Candice N. Hargons
Guided by an interpretivist–constructivist paradigm and phenomenological framework, this study explored sport psychology professionals’ lived experiences to better understand their multicultural training and competence within the field of sport psychology. Twelve sport psychology professionals participated in semistructured interviews from March 2020 to May 2020. The following four themes emerged: (a) a call to reform training programs, (b) a shift from multicultural competence to cultural humility, (c) professional and ethical responsibilities of sport psychology practitioners, and (d) reflexive practice and culturally sensitive interventions. Study findings support expanding multicultural training for students of sport psychology graduate programs and suggest that sport psychology professionals have an ethical responsibility to be culturally aware. Further study findings and clinical implications are discussed.
Diane M. Culver, Majidullah Shaikh, Danielle Alexander, and Karine Fournier
Aim: A scoping review was conducted to map the literature related to gender equity in disability sport. Design: Six databases relevant to the sport sciences were searched, yielding an initial 1,543 records; after two phases of screening and data extraction, 61 records were selected for synthesis. Descriptive statistics were generated on information related to the record contexts, approaches, and results. Qualitative descriptive analyses were used to group data inductively into themes in line with addressing the research question. Results: Most records examined the experiences, participation, and representation of adults in elite contexts. Insights across records pointed to gender inequities in participation and experience, often influenced by the intersection of ableist and masculinity notions. Limited research also pointed to strategies that can contribute to advancing gender equity. Conclusions: Implications were discussed to advance understandings of disability sport and enhance participation across levels (e.g., coaching, athletic) and contexts (e.g., elite/Paralympic, recreational).
DeAnne Davis Brooks and Rob Knox
Black women student-athlete activists at a historically white institution of higher education represent a group with unique lived experiences framed by intersecting identities. As student-activists, they are at risk for adverse mental health concerns associated with the emotional toils of fighting for racial justice. As Black female student-athletes at a historically white institution, they are also at risk for isolation. Acknowledging that race, class, and gender consistently intersect in sport is a necessary prerequisite for better mental health treatment, and for understanding Black women in sport and society. The purpose of this report is to identify the target groups’ needs from their perspectives as Black women student-athlete activists, for the purposes of understanding and serving them better. We present interviews with six Black female student-athlete activists at a historically white institution of higher education and three recommendations for sport psychology consultants positioned to be their allies.
Erik Lundkvist, Henrik Gustafsson, Daniel Madigan, Sören Hjälm, and Anton Kalén
The present study examined levels of emotional exhaustion, a key symptom of burnout, in Swedish professional and semiprofessional sport coaches in comparison to the normative values specified in the Maslach Burnout Inventory manual, and to the clinical cutoffs developed by Kleijweg, Verbraak, and Van Dijk. The sample contained 318 Swedish coaches (M age = 42.7 years, 12% female) working at least 50% full time away from both team (60%) and individual (40%) sports. Our study shows that, in general, coaches in this sample experience lower average levels of exhaustion than normative samples both regarding the Maslach Burnout Inventory and clinical cutoffs. Two groups of coaches did, however, stand out. Coaches living in single households as well as coaches working part time had higher risk of severe levels of emotional exhaustion. These results place coach exhaustion levels in relation to other occupations and highlight that in this sample, the coaching profession does not stand out as more emotionally exhausting than other occupations.
Sebastian S. Sandgren, Emma Haycraft, and Carolyn R. Plateau
Eating psychopathology symptoms are common in athletes; however, it is unknown which symptoms are detected and to what extent by sport professionals. This study aimed to develop and evaluate a self-report questionnaire to explore which features of eating psychopathology in athletes are detected by sport professionals, and how observation of these symptoms might vary. Thirty-one questions were developed and 232 sport professionals (56% male) participated in the study. Exploratory Factor Analysis revealed a 20-item, five-factor solution (Negative Affect, Dieting Practices, Fear of Eating in Social Contexts, Bingeing and Purging, and Compulsive Exercise). Participants most frequently reported observing athletes’ dieting practices, while symptoms of a fear of eating in social contexts were observed least frequently. This study has developed and preliminarily tested the Athlete Eating Psychopathology Observation Questionnaire (AEPOQ), which now requires further validation. The findings provide important directions for education initiatives with sport professionals regarding identification of eating psychopathology symptoms.
David Trouilloud, Sandrine Isoard-Gautheur, and Valentin Roux
Using a person-centered approach, this study was conducted to identify (a) specific athlete profiles in terms of degree of discrepancy between their self-appraisals and the reflected appraisals of their coach and (b) the relations between these profiles and athlete burnout. Athletes (N = 369; Mage = 21.15 years) fulfilled measures of self-appraisals, reflected appraisals of their coach, and burnout. Latent profile analysis allowed the identification of three profiles: concordance (84%), positive discrepancy (11%), and negative discrepancy (5%). Analyses revealed relationships between athletes’ profile membership and the three dimensions of burnout: emotional and physical exhaustion, sport devaluation, and reduced sense of accomplishment. More specifically, results indicated that athletes with a positive discrepancy profile (i.e., who rated themselves more positively than they think their coaches see them) were more at risk of burnout. This study contributes to existing research on psychosocial determinants of athlete burnout in the context of the coach–athlete relationship.
Thomas O. Minkler, Sam Zizzi, Blake Costalupes, and D. Jake Follmer
Existing mindfulness literature in sport primarily focuses on manualized mindfulness protocols, while less is known about athlete experiences with mindfulness outside of interventions. The purpose of the present study was to explore student-athlete experiences with and readiness to practice mindfulness. Using convenience and snowball sampling, 205 collegiate athletes completed a mixed-method survey that assessed readiness, trait mindfulness, social support for mindfulness practice, and mindfulness’ perceived effect on performance. Participants were invited to comment on benefits, barriers, or adverse experiences during their practice. Athletes with long-term experience had significantly higher mindfulness scores than those with less experience; they also perceived that mindfulness had significantly greater effects on performance than those not practicing. Various benefits and barriers were expressed across stages of readiness, though roughly 6%–10% of participants reported an adverse effect of mindfulness practice. It is thus important for practitioners to consider readiness levels and previous experiences in implementing mindfulness interventions.
Misia Gervis, Helen Pickford, Hanna Nygârd, and Aura Goldman
Injuries, and their psychological and maladaptive behavioral consequences, are an inevitable by-product of sport participation. This study sought to investigate the prevalence of maladaptive behaviors and psychological corollaries of long-term injury in order to understand if these are universal experiences of long-term injured athletes. Competitive athletes (n = 187; average time spent injured =43 weeks), across a range of sports completed an online questionnaire developed to investigate the psychological and behavioral consequences of long-term injury. Results indicated that negative symptoms after injury were a universal experience and are the “normal” response to injury, not the “exception.” The most prevalent psychological consequences were rumination (97.9%), boredom (94.7%), and fear of reinjury (93.6%). Furthermore, indicators of suicidal ideation were reported by more than 50% of participants. Factor analysis revealed a six-factor model: (a) self-sabotaging behavior, (b) daily functioning, (c) addictive behavior, (d) clinical issues, (e) fixation on injury, and (f) compromised athletic identity. All factors significantly correlated with debilitating impact. Thus, this study calls for a change to the support of long-term injured athletes to include routine psychological care.