While posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is most commonly associated with survivors of traumatic events (e.g., combat), PTSD can occur after any situation in which victims perceive that their life or safety is threatened. In sport, athletes often place themselves in dangerous situations and are also exposed to the same lifestyle dangers as the general population. The literature on PTSD among athletes is sparse, and consequently, it is possible that many (non-clinical) sport psychologists would fail to recognize the symptoms and may subsequently fail to refer the athlete to the appropriate professional for clinical assistance. In the following case study, we present an example of an athlete suffering from PTSD following a serious bicycle accident in which she sustained head and facial injuries. We briefly detail the nature of PTSD and discuss how sport psychology services can be implemented alongside a parallel clinical intervention program. Finally, we offer recommendations for practice when working with athletes with PTSD.
David A. Shearer, Stephen D. Mellalieu, and Catherine R. Shearer
Jessica J. McCarthy
Nicholls’ achievement goal theory suggests that a task-oriented individual sets goals based on a desire to master particular skills or tasks (Nicholls, 1984, 1989), thus promoting intrinsic motivation (Duda, Chi, Newton, & Walling, 1995). An ego-oriented individual evaluates one’s own performance against the performance of others with comparable skill sets, basing success on outperforming the opponent (Nicholls, 1984, 1989), resulting in low intrinsic motivation. Cognitive evaluation theory, embraced within self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 1985, 1991), suggests that an event that satisfies an inherent need for competence and autonomy leads to increased intrinsic motivation (Standage, Duda, & Pensgaard, 2005). Similarly, Brown and Ryan (2003) found that trait-mindfulness predicted more autonomous activity in day-to-day life and lower intensity and frequency of negative affect. It was therefore hypothesized that in a population of collegiate athletes, a relationship between mindfulness and goal orientation would exist; athletes higher in task-orientation would be more mindful than athletes higher in ego-orientation. Results indicate that a relationship does in fact exist between the Acting with Awareness subscale of the Kentucky Inventory of Mindfulness Skills (KIMS; Baer, Smith, & Allen, 2004) and task-orientation, in that as level of awareness increases, the level of task-orientation also increases. Level of awareness also predicted level of task orientation in athletes. Implications for practice and future research are discussed.
Sanna M. Nordin-Bates, Jennifer Cumming, Danielle Aways, and Lucinda Sharp
The present study investigated perfectionism prevalence and its relationship to imagery and performance anxiety. Two hundred and fifty (N = 250) elite students (66.4% female; M age = 19.19, SD = 2.66) studying mainly classical ballet or contemporary dance in England, Canada, and Australia completed questionnaires assessing perfectionism, imagery, and performance anxiety. Cluster analysis revealed three distinct cohorts: dancers with perfectionistic tendencies (40.59% of the sample), dancers with moderate perfectionistic tendencies (44.35%), and dancers with no perfectionistic tendencies (15.06%). Notably, these labels are data driven and relative; only eight dancers reported high absolute scores. Dancers with perfectionistic tendencies experienced more debilitative imagery, greater cognitive and somatic anxiety, and lower self-confidence than other dancers. Dancers with moderate perfectionistic tendencies reported midlevel scores for all constructs and experienced somatic anxiety as being more debilitative to performance than did those with no perfectionistic tendencies. Clusters were demographically similar, though more males than females reported no perfectionistic tendencies, and vice versa. In summary, the present findings suggest that “true” perfectionism may be rare in elite dance; however, elements of perfectionism appear common and are associated with maladaptive characteristics.
Rebecca Davies, Dave Smith, and Kevan Collier
This study examined the presence and experience of muscle dysmorphia among current and former steroid-using recreational bodybuilders. The Muscle Dysmorphia Inventory was given to 60 male participants, with 9 of these being interviewed to examine the predisposing factors, characteristics, and negative consequences of muscle dysmorphia comprising Lantz, Rhea, and Mayhew’s (2001) conceptual model. Quantitative results from the MDI data showed no significant differences between current and former steroid users in their experiences of muscle dysmorphia. In contrast, interviews suggested that former users appeared to be more susceptible to some of the characteristics of muscle dysmorphia, including physique protection and body distortion/dissatisfaction, which suggests perhaps a limitation in the amount of information that can be extracted from a questionnaire. These preliminary findings also raise concerns about the lack of a diagnostic tool available for the condition and are discussed in relation to Lantz et al.’s (2001) conceptual model.
Gal Ziv and Ronnie Lidor
The purpose of this study was to review a series of studies (n = 20) examining the effects of adding music to exercise programs in clinical populations and in the elderly. We found that the addition of music can (a) improve exercise capacity and increase patients’ motivation to participate in cardiac and pulmonary exercise rehabilitation programs; (b) lead to improved balance, greater ability to perform activities of daily living, and improved life satisfaction in elderly individuals; (c) enhance adherence and function of individuals suffering from neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s; and (d) sustain these benefits if continued on a long-term basis. Based on the reviewed studies, a number of methodological concerns were presented, among them the choice of music style. One of the practical implications suggested for clinicians and practitioners was that the type of music should be individualized based on each patient’s musical preferences.
Janine V. Olthuis, Byron L. Zamboanga, Matthew P. Martens, and Lindsay S. Ham
Research has shown that college student-athletes are at increased risk for hazardous alcohol use. As such, this study examined social and cognitive influences on athletes’ alcohol consumption by exploring the association between injunctive norms (parental, teammate, and coach approval) and hazardous alcohol use among college athletes, and testing whether alcohol expectancy outcomes and valuations would mediate this association. College student-athletes (n = 301; mean age = 19.4, SD = 1.3) completed self-report questionnaires assessing their drinking behaviors and perceptions of alcohol use in their social environment. Structural equation modeling revealed, in all but one case, a direct association between each of the injunctive norms variables and hazardous alcohol use. In addition, negative expectancy valuations mediated the association between teammate approval and hazardous alcohol use. Injunctive norms emerged as an important factor in student-athletes’ alcohol use. Implications for alcohol intervention programming among student-athletes are discussed.