Individuals with intellectual disabilities are largely marginalized within society and are understudied as a group (Reel & Bucciere, 2011). Although there have been numerous body image studies with able-bodied athletes, this study represents the first attempt to explore body image of male and female Special Olympics athletes. Athletes (N = 103) were 18–61 years of age (M = 33.34; SD = 11.20) and represented mild to moderate severity for diagnosable intellectual disabilities. Height and weight were measured to determine body mass index (BMI). Body image was verbally assessed via individual interviews using the Figure Ratings Scale and open-ended items. Female athletes had a significantly higher BMI (M = 33.02, SD = 9.28) than male athletes (M = 28.24, SD = 7.38). The BMI means for the female and male athletes met the classifications for obese and overweight, respectively. There was also a negative relationship between body satisfaction and BMI in the overall sample (r = -.46), male athletes only (r = -.51), and female athletes only (r = -.38, indicating that higher BMI was associated with lower body satisfaction. Descriptive statistics revealed that 51% of female athletes and 37% of male athletes desired a thinner physique, whereas 20% of female athletes and 29.6% of male athletes wanted to be larger. There were no significant gender differences in levels of overall body dissatisfaction in this study.
Justine J. Reel, Robert A. Bucciere, and Sonya SooHoo
Tracey J. Devonport, Andrew M. Lane, and Kay Biscomb
Coping is highly relevant to performance in any domain where individuals strive to attain personally important goals. Thirty-three female national standard adolescent netball players participated in focus group and one-on-one interviews. Participants reported stressors experienced in not only sport, but also in other areas of life. They also reported coping strategies used and factors that might influence the stressor-coping process. Results identified stressors that derived from attempts to achieve highly important personal goals in different areas of daily life, including academic, sport, and social settings. Usage of future-oriented coping strategies such as planning, prioritizing, time-management, goal setting, and problem solving were associated with successfully managing multiple stressors and a sense of well-being. The present study illustrated the potential contribution of encouraging athletes to use future-oriented coping strategies when seeking the attainment of goals across domains. Future research should look to test the effectiveness of interventions designed to promote usage of future-oriented coping strategies.
Tonya Nascimento and Gershon Tenenbaum
Exercise-induced vocal cord dysfunction (VCD) is a respiratory dysfunction where athletes’ vocal cords close prematurely, causing partially or fully obstructed air-flow. Due to a resulting severe decrement in performance and lack of efficacious treatments, this study aimed to discover some of the psychological experiences of athletes with VCD symptoms. Semistructured interviews were conducted with five athletes from three different sports and two mothers of participants. Data were coded for meaningful units and themes by the researcher and one independent rater. Ten psychological facets were derived. Based on the data from these five participants, athletes with VCD may have several common psychological experiences, which may possibly be a result of the breathing disorder. The first seven facets highlight that athletes with VCD may be at risk for burnout. The facets identified are a starting point for sport personnel to plan their treatment and support of athletes in their care.
Sarah K. Sifers and Dana N. Shea
Girls on Track (GOTR/T) is a program focused on improving pre-teen (Girls on the Run) and young teen (Girls on Track) girls’ self-esteem and fostering a healthy lifestyle through running and all-inclusive development. The GOTR/T curriculum attempts to foster physical, psychological, and social well-being through education, team building, and physical activity. Participants in the present GOTR/T study (N = 111 girls, ages 8 to 13) completed the Behavioral and Emotional Screening System, Children’s Body Image Scale, Self-perception Profile for Children, and a measure of attitudes toward physical activity at the start of the program and at the conclusion. Guardians completed a consumer satisfaction survey. Self-perceptions of physical appearance and average size of ideal body image increased. Discrepancy between perceived real and ideal body image decreased. Guardian satisfaction with the program was high. Results suggest GOTR/T may help improve self-esteem in relation to physical appearance and body image. Improvements in other domains were not found, and the program did not improve behavioral and emotional functioning.
Andrew J. Hutchison and Lynne H. Johnston
The purpose of this article is to expand the literature on case formulation as a clinical tool for use within exercise psychology, generally and lifestyle behavior change interventions, specifically. Existing research offers limited support for the efficacy of current physical activity behavior change intervention strategies, particularly in the long-term. The present paper argues that intervention strategies need to pay greater attention to the complex and individualistic nature of exercise and health related behaviors. It has been suggested that existing intervention designs tend to conform to a medical model approach, which can at times potentially neglect the complex array of personal and situational factors that impact on human motivation and behavior. Case formulation is presented as a means of encouraging a dynamic and comprehensive approach to the development and implementation of practical interventions within the health behavior change field. The adoption of these clinical techniques may facilitate the careful consideration of variations in the development, manifestation, and maintaining mechanisms of problematic behaviors (e.g., inactivity). An overview of case formulation in its different forms is presented alongside a justification for its use within exercise psychology.
Robert Weinberg, Daniel Vernau, and Thelma Horn
The purpose of the present investigation was to assess the influence of gender and athletic identity on recreational basketball players’ attitudes and behaviors with regard to playing through pain and injury. Participants included 130 male and female intramural basketball players who completed the Athletic Identity Measurement Scale (AIMS), the Risk Pain and Injury Questionnaire (RPIQ), and a scale to measure behavioral tendencies toward playing with injury. Results from MANOVA and hierarchical regression analyses revealed that gender was not a factor in regard to either injury-related attitudes or behavioral tendencies. In contrast, athletic identity was a significant factor. Specifically, athletes who were higher in athletic identity exhibited more positive attitudes toward playing with injury as well as higher behavioral tendencies to do so. Study results are discussed in terms of the sport culture and sport ethic surrounding injury.
Shaun C. Tyrance, Henry L. Harris, and Phyllis Post
This study examined the relationship between athletic identity, race, gender, sport, and expectation to play professionally and career planning attitudes (career optimism, career adaptability, and career knowledge) among NCAA Division I college student-athletes. Participants of this study consisted of 538 Division I student-athletes from four Bowl Championship Series institutions. Results of this study found that Division I student-athletes with higher athletic identities had lower levels of career optimism; Division I student-athletes who participated in revenue-producing sports had lower levels of career optimism; and student-athletes with a higher expectation to play professional sports were more likely to be optimistic regarding their future career and displayed higher athletic identities. Statistically significant findings indicated the following gender differences: male Division I student-athletes believed they had a better understanding of the job market and employment trends; males had more career optimism; and females had higher levels of athletic identity than their male counterparts. Implications for counseling student-athletes are addressed.
Sheriece Sadberry and Michael Mobley
Research has shown that African American college students have a difficult time adjusting at predominately White institutions (PWIs) in comparison with historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) with regard to both general and race-related stressors (Neville, Heppner, Ji, & Thye, 2004; Prillerman, Myers, & Smedley, 1989; Sedlacek, 1999). For college student-athletes, the campus environment can challenge their capacity to ft in and adhere to academic and social expectations, perhaps especially for Black student-athletes (BSA). The current study therefore examined the sociocultural and mental health adjustment of 98 BSA based on their perceived social support, perceived campus racial climate, team cohesion, and life events using latent profle analysis (LPA). Results indicated three distinct profile groups: Low Social Support/Cohesion, High Minority Stress, and High Social Support/Cohesion. Profiles were predictive of adjustment concerns and campus setting (PWIs vs. HBCUs), highlighting within-group differences among BSA. Implications for interventions to facilitate and support healthy adjustment and success for BSA are discussed.