We evaluated several behavioral coaching procedures with two young adults who had intellectual and developmental disabilities and were preparing for a Special Olympics track event. The primary dependent measure was their time running a 100 m sprint. Following a baseline phase, the athletes were coached to improve sprint times through different combinations of goal setting, performance feedback, positive reinforcement, and video modeling. In a sequential design, the average sprint time of both athletes was lower during intervention conditions compared with baseline. Following intervention, they ran faster than their baseline average in competition at a regional Special Olympics event. We discuss intervention and research issues in behavioral coaching of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
James K. Luiselli, Neelima G. Duncan, Patrick Keary, Elizabeth Godbold Nelson, Rebecca E. Parenteau, and Kathryn E. Woods
Lael Gershgoren, Edson Medeiros Filho, Gershon Tenenbaum, and Robert J. Schinke
This study was aimed at capturing the components comprising shared mental models (SMM) and the training methods used to address SMM in one athletic program context. To meet this aim, two soccer coaches from the same collegiate program were interviewed and observed extensively during practices and games throughout the 2009–2010 season. In addition, documents (e.g., players’ positioning on free kicks sheet) from the soccer program were reviewed. The data were analyzed inductively through a thematic analysis to develop models that operationalize SMM through its components, and training. Game intelligence and game philosophy were the two main operational themes defining SMM. Moreover, four themes emerged for SMM training: (a) the setting, (b) compensatory communication, (c) reinforcement, and (d) instruction. SMM was embedded within a more comprehensive conceptual framework of team chemistry, including emotional, social, and cognitive dimensions. Implications of these conceptual frameworks are considered for sport psychologists and coaches.
Jeffrey J. Martin and Laurie A. Malone
Although sport psychologists have started to examine elite disability sport, studies of comprehensive mental skill use are rare. In the current study, we examined multidimensional imagery and self-talk, as well as comprehensive mental skills (i.e., coping with adversity, goal setting, concentration, peaking under pressure, being coachable, confident, and feeling free from worry). In addition to descriptive data, we also were interested in the ability of athlete’s mental skills to predict engagement (e.g., being dedicated). Fourteen elite level wheelchair rugby players from the United States participated, and results indicated that athletes employed most mental skills. We accounted for 50% of the variance in engagement with comprehensive mental skills (β = .72, p = .03) contributing the most to the regression equation, while imagery (β = -.02, p = .94) and self-talk (β = -.00, p = .99) were not significant. Athletes who reported using a host of mental skills (e.g., coping with adversity) also reported being engaged (e.g., dedicated, enthused, committed) to wheelchair rugby. Athletes reporting minimal mental skill use were less engaged.
Siobhain McArdle and Phil Moore
The aim of this pilot study was to explore disordered eating (DE) literacy in male and female athletes and to examine whether any gender differences were present. A related aim was to examine the moderating effect of gender on the relationship between indices of DE literacy and attitudes toward help-seeking for DE. A nonclinical sample of 133 (37% male) athletes from a variety of sports and competitive levels were recruited to complete an online questionnaire addressing a range of topics linked to DE literacy. Chi-square analysis indicated no significant gender differences on indicators of DE literacy. Findings from the survey revealed a number of beliefs conducive to low or inappropriate help-seeking for DE. The results highlight the importance of exploring DE literacy in athletes to develop more targeted interventions for this specific population.
Insa Nixdorf, Raphael Frank, Martin Hautzinger, and Juergen Beckmann
Depression among elite athletes is a topic of increasing interest, but empirical data are rare. The present study aimed to provide insight into the prevalence of depressive symptoms among German elite athletes and possible associated factors. In an online survey of 162 athletes, we explored depressive symptoms, chronic stress, coping strategies and stress-recovery states. Results indicated an overall prevalence of 15% for depression among elite athletes (n = 99), and revealed higher levels of depressive symptoms among the individual athletes than the team athletes. Furthermore, correlation analyses showed a significant connection between high levels of depressive symptoms and high levels of chronic stress, negative coping strategies and negative stress-recovery states. Results indicate that the prevalence for depressive symptoms in elite athletes is comparable to that in the general German population. Moreover, exploratory analyses provide first indications of factors associated with depressive symptoms.
Jennifer I. Gapin and Brianna Kearns
Athletes in sports with weight requirements may be especially vulnerable to eating disorders (EDs), yet there is limited research regarding collegiate rowers. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine prevalence rates of ED symptoms in 133 male and female competitive collegiate rowers in lightweight and open weight programs. This is the first study to examine eating pathology in rowers using a diagnostic tool based on DSM-IV criteria, the Q-EDD; and examining ED symptoms using the EDI-2 (drive for thinness [DT] and body dissatisfaction [BD]). The majority of rowers were classified as symptomatic (n = 65; 49%) or clinical (n = 5; 4%). Lightweight rowers had a significantly higher prevalence of eating pathology and a significantly greater DT and BD than open weight rowers. Males had considerably higher prevalence of eating pathology than females, but females had significantly greater BD. Ongoing monitoring of rowers’ eating behaviors is highly encouraged. Implications for counseling and prevention are discussed.
Laura D. DiPasquale and Trent A. Petrie
Eating disorder prevalence rates among athletes vary greatly because of the different ways in which researchers have measured and classified them, and the extent to which they are higher than those found among nonathletes remains unresolved. The present study examined prevalence of eating disorders, body image issues, and weight control behaviors using a valid diagnostic measure. Participants included 146 male and 156 female NCAA Division I student-athletes and a matched sample of 170 male and 353 female collegiate nonathletes. Overall, eating disorder prevalence rates and use of pathogenic weight control behaviors were lower among nonathletes than athletes. Rates for athletes in the current study were lower than previous studies. These findings are likely due to the lack of anonymity the athletes had when completing questionnaires, as data were collected through athletes’ preseason physicals, whereas nonathletes completed questionnaires anonymously over the Internet. Recommendations for athletic departments’ screening for eating disorders are made.
Jeremy J. Noble, Michael B. Madson, Richard S. Mohn, and Jon T. Mandracchia
Heavy episodic drinking (HED) is related to an increase in negative consequences (Wechsler, Lee, Kuo, & Lee, 2000) including approximately 599,000 unintentional injuries and 1,825 deaths annually among college students (Hingson, Edwards, Heeren, & Rosenbloom, 2009). College athletes participate in greater alcohol consumption and experience more negative consequences than their nonathlete peers (Hildebrand, Johnson, & Bogle, 2001). Protective behavioral strategies (PBS) have played a significant role in reducing alcohol-related negative consequences within the college population (Martens et al., 2004). However, little is known about PBS use within specific at-risk populations such as athletes. This study aimed to identify the relationship between alcohol consumption, the use of protective behavioral strategies, and negative consequences among intercollegiate athletes. Results indicated that PBS partially mediated the relationship between alcohol consumption and negative consequences. Implications for intercollegiate athlete intervention and prevention programs are discussed as well as limitations of the study and directions for future research.
Jamie B. Barker, Marc V. Jones, and Iain Greenlees
High levels of self-efficacy have been documented to be associated with optimal levels of sport performance. One technique, which has the potential to foster increased self-efficacy, is hypnosis. Hypnosis is based upon the power of suggestion and, while often shrouded in myth and controversy, has been used in a number of domains including medicine, dentistry, and psychotherapy. In contrast, sport psychology is one domain where the use of hypnosis has yet to be fully explored. The aim of this review is to add to the extant literature and delineate how hypnosis potentially can enhance self-efficacy. By drawing on neodissociation and nonstate theories of hypnosis, a combined theoretical basis is established to explain how hypnosis may be used to influence sport performers’ sources of self-efficacy information. Furthermore, the review examines these theoretical postulations by presenting contemporary research evidence exploring the effects of hypnosis on sport performers’ self-efficacy. The review concludes with future research directions and suggestions for sport psychologists considering the use of hypnosis within their practice.