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.
Timothy LaVigne, Betsy Hoza, Alan L. Smith, Erin K. Shoulberg, and William Bukowski
Nick Galli, Justine J. Reel, Hester Henderson, and Nicole Detling
The purpose of this study was twofold: (a) to explore the body image of athletes with physical disabilities, and (b) to understand how sport influences body image among these athletes. We interviewed 20 male and female athletes (M age = 34.25, SD = 8.49) from a variety of sports regarding their body image and the role of sport in influencing body image. A thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006) was used to generate six themes: (a) personal significance of injury and disability, (b) noncentrality of the body and disability, (c) positive influence of sport on body esteem, (d) social factors influencing body-related emotions and perceptions, (e) body critiques and preferences, and (f) positive thoughts and emotions about the body. Sport seemed to be an important vehicle for experiencing body-related pride, and athletes expressed an intimate connection with the body parts that enabled them to physically compete.
David J. Blakelock, Mark A. Chen, and Tim Prescott
Elite adolescent soccer players may represent one athletic population that is vulnerable to developing psychological distress following deselection. This study examined the proportion of players experiencing clinical levels of psychological distress following selection procedures and whether player status (i.e., deselected vs. retained) had a significant effect on psychological distress. Data was collected from 91 players who completed the General Health Questionnaire -12 at three time points: 7–14 days before selection procedures, 7 days after and 21 days after. Although outcomes were heterogeneous, a sizable proportion of deselected players were found to experience clinical levels of psychological distress. A factorial ANOVA (p < .001) found that deselected players experienced higher levels of psychological distress than retained players at postselection time points. The research provides evidence that some deselected players are “at risk” of developing clinical levels of psychological distress. Clinical implications and recommendations for future research are discussed.
Kamuran Yerlikaya Balyan, Serdar Tok, Arkun Tatar, Erdal Binboga, and Melih Balyan
The present study examined the association between personality, competitive anxiety, somatic anxiety and physiological arousal in athletes with high and low anxiety levels. Anxiety was manipulated by means of an incentive. Fifty male participants, first, completed the Five Factor Personality Inventory and their resting electro dermal activity (EDA) was recorded. In the second stage, participants were randomly assigned to high or low anxiety groups. Individual EDAs were recorded again to determine precompetition physiological arousal. Participants also completed the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 (CSAI-2) and played a computer-simulated soccer match. Results showed that neuroticism was related to both CSAI-2 components and physiological arousal only in the group receiving the incentive. Winners had higher levels of cognitive anxiety and lower levels of physiological arousal than losers. On the basis of these findings, we concluded that an athlete’s neurotic personality may influence his cognitive and physiological responses in a competition.
Brigid Byrd and Jeffrey J. Martin
The purpose of this cross sectional study was to predict feelings of belonging and social responsibility based on climate perceptions of youth participating in a middle school running program. Method: Seventy-four youth from a middle school track and cross country program in the Midwest participated. Results: Based on multiple regression analyses we predicted 52% of the variance in feelings of belonging largely due to perceptions of leadership emotional support and task climate and 25% of the variance in feelings of social responsibility largely due to perceptions of a caring climate. Conclusions: Our findings support the importance of middle school running programs which offered an environment allowing multiple psychosocial benefits, such as nurturing feelings of belonging and social responsibility.
Kiira N. Poux and Mary D. Fry
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.