This study explored the extent to which athletic identity, belief of financial sustainability through participation at the professional level, scholarship status, and career decision-making self-efficacy predicted career maturity in college athletes. In addition, whether the relationship between athletic identity and career maturity differed depending upon scholarship status, belief of sustaining oneself financially as a professional athlete, and career decision-making self-efficacy was explored. Participants were 221 student-athletes from a large southeastern university. Participants provided demographic information and completed the Athletic Identity Measurement Scale, Career Decision Self-Efficacy Scale—Short Form, and Career Decision Scale. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that athletic identity was inversely related to career maturity. In addition, career decision-making self-efficacy was related to career maturity, with high career decision-making self-efficacy associated with higher career maturity. Future research is needed to further explore psychological variables that may explain the relationship between athletic identity and career maturity.
James L. W. Houle and Annette S. Kluck
Jacob A. Jones
Self-concept theory was used as a theoretical basis to investigate the utility of social norms alcohol prevention programs for college athletes. The predictive relationship among alcohol use and athletic identity, competitiveness, drinking game participation, and level of sport participation was investigated. Drinking game participation was found to be a significant predictor of total weekly alcohol use above and beyond the other predictors. In addition, organized recreational sport participation was a significant predictor of total binge-drinking episodes. It was demonstrated that individuals not currently participating in sports with an athletic identity in the same range as current athletes consumed alcohol at similar rates to current athletes, thus supporting athletic identity as an alternative way of classifying athlete status when studying alcohol consumption patterns. These results highlight the importance of drinking game participation in the alcohol use of college athletes and the validity of applying self-concept theory to alcohol prevention programs.
Mark H. Anshel and Thomas M. Brinthaupt
Psychological inventories are ubiquitous and necessary in sport psychology for gathering data to address selected research questions, making clinical diagnoses, and as guidelines for providing effective interventions. However, the improper use of inventories can result in inaccurate or incomplete interpretations of data or diagnoses, thereby compromising the effectiveness of intervention efforts and limiting the contributions of sport psychology consulting. The purposes of this article are to (a) summarize the major terminology associated with the use of psychological inventories, (b) provide an overview of reliability and validity issues relevant to establishing psychometric evidence for psychological inventories, (c) review the most common errors associated with using sport psychology inventories, and (d) provide best practice guidelines for the proper use of psychological inventories in sport psychology. If researchers and practitioners follow these guidelines, they can be more confident in the results and proper use of their interventions and consultations.
Mark T. Suffolk
The sport of competitive bodybuilding is strongly associated with muscle dysmorphia, a body-image-related psychological disorder. This theoretical article draws on existing concepts, namely stereotyping, prejudice, and positive deviance in sport, to explicate the notion that competitive bodybuilding and body-image disturbance may be mistakenly conflated. The perspective offered here goes beyond the countercultural physique to argue that a negative social perception of competitive bodybuilders obscures the pragmatic necessity to develop a hypermesomorphic physique. Competitive bodybuilders (CBs) and athletes in mainstream competitive sport exhibit congruent psychobehavioral tendencies. In a competitive-sport context, behavior among CBs perceived as pathological may primarily represent a response to the ideological sporting ethic of “win at all costs,” not extreme body-image disturbance. Analyzing the psychobehavioral characteristics of CBs within a sporting rather than a pathological framework, allows for a contextual assessment of behaviors to then determine the clinical significance relative to the research population under investigation.
Vaithehy Shanmugam, Sophia Jowett, and Caroline Meyer
In the current study, we had two aims. First, we investigated the associations between eating psychopathology, situational interpersonal difficulties, and dispositional interpersonal difficulties among athletes and nonathletes. Second, we examined the mediating role of self-critical perfectionism, self-esteem, and depression in these associations. A total of 152 athletes and 147 nonathletes completed self-report instruments pertaining to relationship quality with significant others, as well as social anxiety, loneliness, self-critical perfectionism, self-esteem, depression, and eating psychopathology. Social anxiety and loneliness were found to be the only significant independent predictors of eating psychopathology among both athletes and nonathletes. However, such associations were indirectly mediated through depression for athletes and through self-critical perfectionism, self-esteem, and depression for nonathletes. The findings of this study suggest that the psychosocial mechanisms involved in the eating psychopathology of athletes are relatively similar to that of nonathletes. Thus, it can be tentatively proposed that treatments and interventions that target reducing interpersonal conflicts currently available for the general population should also be offered to athletes.
Jessie M. Wall, Janelle L. Kwee, Marvin J. McDonald, and Richard A. Bradshaw
This study was the first to explore the treatment effects of observed and experiential integration (OEI) therapy for the salient psychological barriers to performance experienced by athletes. The hermeneutic single case efficacy design was used to explore the relationship between OEI therapy and athlete psychological functioning. The participant was a student-athlete who met the criteria for the performance dysfunction (multilevel classification system of Sport psychology) category, which indicates that subclinical issues were present. After five phases of data collection, a rich case record was compiled and referenced to develop skeptic and affirmative briefs and corresponding rebuttals by two research teams of three experts (OEI clinician, non-OEI clinician, and sport expert). Three independent judges adjudicated the cases and unanimously concluded that the client changed considerably to substantially and that OEI, the therapeutic relationship, and client expectancy were active variables in the change process.