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Using the Anxiety Sensitivity Index-3 With Athletes: A Psychometric Evaluation of Factor Structure and Measurement Invariance

Christopher E.J. DeWolfe, Pablo Romero-Sanchiz, Margo C. Watt, and Sherry H. Stewart

To meaningfully use the Anxiety Sensitivity Index-3 (ASI-3) with athletes, measurement invariance must be established. Thus, we sought to determine appropriate factor structures for the ASI-3 in an athlete sample, assess measurement invariance between an athlete sample and a less active sample, and compare ASI-3 scores between these groups. Two university student samples were recruited: an athlete sample (n = 216) and a less active control sample (n = 321). Results supported bifactor and hierarchical factor structures for the ASI-3 overall and in the athlete sample. Measurement invariance of these factor structures was established. ASI-3 score comparisons indicated that the athlete sample had significantly lower levels of global anxiety sensitivity, and lower physical and social concerns. Results support the use of the ASI-3 to address mental health concerns in athletes and permit meaningful comparisons between athletes and nonathletes using the ASI-3 and its subscales.

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Developing Self-Awareness and Emotional Intelligence in Adolescent Soccer: A Community Outreach Pilot Program

Sabrina Gomez Souffront, Enzo R.N. Everett, and Jason Kostrna

Sport provides opportunities for adolescents to develop psychological skills. To realize this potential, sport facilitators must actively create a culture that develops adolescent athletes. Psychological skills training and biofeedback training have been effective at developing psychological skills in adult athletes. However, little research has focused on the effects of psychological skills training and biofeedback training in adolescent athletes. This study tests the efficacy of a pilot community outreach program to promote psychological skills development in adolescent soccer players from a travel soccer team (n = 21). During the 2-week intervention, researchers taught participants psychophysiological content related to self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and decision making. The psychological skills training sessions included active learning activities, group discussions, and reflection. Throughout the sessions, researchers used biofeedback to demonstrate and train participants in psychophysiological concepts. The 2-week intervention gave participants opportunities each day to monitor and reflect on their psychological performance state. Program evaluation data showed descriptive improvements in the ability to focus, control arousal, reduce stress, and control emotions. Wilcoxon signed-rank tests revealed significant positive changes occurred for decision-making self-efficacy. The intervention and efficacy of this study support applied practitioners’ integration of biofeedback and psychological skills training to improve adolescents’ self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and decision making.

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Predictive Factors for Compulsive Exercise in Adolescent Athletes: A Cross-Sectional Study

Martine Fortier, Christopher Rodrigue, Camille Clermont, Anne-Sophie Gagné, Audrey Brassard, Daniel Lalande, and Jacinthe Dion

Although exercise is generally considered a healthy lifestyle habit, it may be problematic for some people. This has led to growing research on compulsive exercise—an uncontrollable urge for physical activity despite its deleterious effects. A maintenance model of compulsive exercise has been developed for adults exhibiting weight and shape concerns, weight control behaviors, and specific psychological states (including depression and anxiety) as predictive factors. We identified predicting factors for compulsive exercise in adolescent athletes using the same model framework. These athletes completed the compulsive exercise test and several well-validated psychometric measures. Gender-specific multiple regression models identified stronger drive for thinness, perfectionism, and body image investment in sport as significant predictors of compulsive exercise in boys and girls. Among girls, asceticism and bulimia symptoms were also significantly associated with compulsive exercise. These findings support the relevance of the model for clinical intervention and research on compulsive exercise in adolescent athletes.

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Volume 17 (2023): Issue 4 (Dec 2023): JCSP Special Issue Burnout in Sport and Performance, Part 2

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The Effectiveness of a Sleep Optimization Program on Insomnia, Anxiety, Perceived Stress, and Emotion Dysregulation Among Football Players With Sleep Complaints

Kazem Emami, Shahram Nazari, Amy M. Bender, Rasool Norouzi Seyed Hossini, and Ebrahim Norouzi

Research has shown that elite athletes frequently experience both insufficient and poor-quality sleep. In the present study, we examined the effectiveness of a sleep optimization intervention comprised of mindfulness and sleep hygiene on insomnia severity, symptoms of anxiety, stress, and emotion dysregulation among football players with sleep complaints. Sixty male football players with sleep complaints (mean age = 29.31, SD = 3.8) were randomly assigned to the active control condition (wellness program) or the sleep optimization intervention program (mindfulness plus sleep hygiene). All participants filled out questionnaires on insomnia severity, anxiety, perceived stress, and emotion dysregulation. Three data assessments were made: one at the start of the intervention (baseline), one at the end of the intervention 8 weeks later (posttest), and one 4 weeks after the posttest (follow-up). The severity of insomnia, anxiety, stress, and emotion dysregulation decreased over time in the sleep optimization group from baseline to posttest and at the follow-up. According to the present results, a sleep optimization intervention reduced insomnia, anxiety, stress symptoms, and emotion dysregulation in football players with sleep complaints.

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Trait Perfectionism, Perfectionistic Self-Presentation, and Muscle Dysmorphia in Male Exercisers: A Structural Equation Modeling Strategy

Michael C. Grugan and Kieran J. Wright

Perfectionism is positively related to muscle dysmorphia (MD). However, research on this relationship is limited by conceptual and methodological issues (e.g., conceptualizing perfectionism as unidimensional, suboptimal analytical techniques, and failing to examine whether perfectionistic self-presentation is also related to MD). To address these issues, we used a structural equation modeling strategy to examine whether dimensions of perfectionistic self-presentation add incrementally to the prediction of MD. A sample of 402 adult males who exercise regularly completed the study. We found that perfectionistic self-promotion, nondisplay of imperfection, and nondisclosure of imperfection accounted for significant increases in variance explained in MD (ΔR 2 = .126–.192). This means that clinicians and practitioners need to consider not only whether exercisers are motivated by a drive to be perfect (inherent in dimensions of trait perfectionism), but also whether they are motivated by a drive to appear perfect to others (inherent in dimensions of perfectionistic self-presentation).

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Transition (From Sport) Experiences of Former National Football League Players: An NFL-LONG Study

J.D. DeFreese, Erianne A. Weight, Landon B. Lempke, Samuel R. Walton, Zachary Yukio Kerr, Benjamin L. Brett, Avinash Chandran, Rebekah Mannix, Ruben J. Echemendia, Michael A. McCrea, William P. Meehan III, and Kevin M. Guskiewicz

Transition from professional football life has important implications for the health and well-being of former National Football League (NFL) players. The study purpose was to examine former NFL players’ experiences of transitioning from sport including factors that helped and factors that made transition difficult. This study used a convenience sample of former NFL players drawn from a larger study of health and function. Participants included 1,784 former NFL players, mean age = 52.3 ± 16.3 years, 59% White, and a discontinuation mean of 24.0 ± 15.6 years after leaving the league. Participants responded to open-ended transition questions via mail or electronic questionnaire with responses analyzed using conceptual content analysis. The most frequently reported factors that helped transition included career transition plan/options (48%) and social support (40%). Whereas, structure- (33%) and identity-related (23%) difficulties were reported as factors that made transition difficult. Findings identify areas for targeted interventions to enhance NFL player well-being during transition from sport.

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Nonaccidental Violence Among Elite Athletes in Finland: Associations With Sport Conditions and Mental Well-Being and Ill-Being

Satu Kaski and Ulla Kinnunen

The aim of this research was to study the prevalence of nonaccidental violence among elite athletes in Finland, the predisposing factors to violence, and its consequences for mental well-being and ill-being. A total of 2,045 Finnish athletes participated in the study. Logistic and linear regression analyses were used to analyze the associations. The results indicated that 38.8% had experienced psychological abuse, 14.7% bullying, 13.3% gender-based harassment, and 5.5% sexual harassment. Female and younger athletes reported more violent experiences than male and older athletes. A team’s safe atmosphere and readiness to act protected athletes from nonaccidental violence, whereas the coach did not play a role. Nonaccidental violence, particularly psychological abuse, was associated with reduced mental well-being and increased ill-being. Our results suggest that it is worth investing in the team’s mutual relationships and safe cooperation when ensuring appropriate behavior and preventing nonaccidental violence among athletes.

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Erratum. Personality and Attitudinal Predictors of Sportspersonship in Recreational Sport

Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology

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Personality and Attitudinal Predictors of Sportspersonship in Recreational Sport

Tanya Fozzard and Dara Mojtahedi

Respect and fair treatment among competitors are necessary for maintaining quality and enjoyment in sporting competitions. Yet despite the existence of rules and expectations, many athletes choose to violate such sporting norms. The present study examined whether individual differences in Sportspersonship within recreational sports could be explained by personality and sport-related attitudes. Ultimate Frisbee players (N = 828) completed an online survey consisting of personality (dark triad, HEXACO-60, and Sportspersonship), demographic, and attitudinal questionnaires. Psychopathy was associated with low Sportspersonship, whereas Honesty-Humility, Agreeableness, and Openness to Experience predicted greater Sportspersonship. Additionally, participants holding positive attitudes about the conduct of other players and the efficacy of self-governed regulation displayed higher Sportspersonship. Positive associations between personality traits and Sportspersonship may be attributed to positive views toward cooperation and enjoyment of the experience, whereas negative associations between Psychopathy and Sportspersonship are likely to be linked to the callous and risk-taking nature of such individuals.