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Jessyca N. Arthur-Cameselle and Paula A. Quatromoni

The purpose of this study was to identify factors related to the onset of eating disorders in female athletes. Participants were 17 collegiate female athletes (mean age of 20.7) who experienced eating disorders. Participants were interviewed individually and responses were coded thematically. Results revealed internal and external factors related to the onset of eating disorders. Internal factors included: Negative Mood States, Low Self Esteem, Perfectionism/Drive for Achievement, and Desire for Control. External factors included: Negative Influences on Self-Esteem, Hurtful Relationships, Hurtful Role Models, and Sport Performance. Findings suggest that many triggers for onset among athletes are similar to those reported among nonathletes. However, results demonstrate that the sport environment has a unique impact on athletes’ eating disorder development. In particular, negative comments by coaches, modeling of eating disordered behaviors by other athletes, and sport performance pressure all contributed to eating pathology. Implications and recommendations for the sport community are discussed.

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Geoff P. Lovell, John K. Parker, Abbe Brady, Stewart T. Cotterill, and Glyn Howatson

Research has reported that initial evaluations of consultants’ competency are affected by dress and build. This investigation examined how athletes’ perceptions of sport psychology consultants (SPCs) are affected by SPCs’ physical characteristics of BMI and dress, and whether these perceptions are moderated by the athletes’ sex or standard of competition. Two hundred and thirty three competitive sports volunteers classified by sex and competitive standard viewed computer generated images of the same female SPC in sports and formal attire manipulated to represent a range of body mass indexes. Participants were asked to rank the SPCs in order of their preference to work with them, and to rate their perceived effectiveness of each of the SPCs. Results demonstrated that SPCs’ physical characteristics do influence athletes’ preference to work with them and perceptions of their effectiveness. Furthermore, athlete’s competitive standard does significantly moderate initial evaluation of SPCs based on physical characteristics.

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Dany MacDonald

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Dany J. MacDonald, Jean Côté, Mark Eys, and Janice Deakin

Sport has been identified as a context in which youth encounter positive and negative experiences. However, relatively little is known about the factors that lead to positive and negative personal development among sport participants. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of enjoyment and motivational climate on positive and negative personal development of team sport participants. A sample of 510 athletes between the ages of 9 and 19 completed questionnaires on positive and negative personal development, enjoyment, and motivational climate. Stepwise multiple regression analyses examined the effects of enjoyment and motivational climate on the personal development of the athletes. Results demonstrated that positive experiences in sport were most strongly predicted by affiliation with peers, self-referenced competency, effort expenditure, and a task climate. Negative experiences were most strongly predicted by an ego climate and other-referenced competency. Results suggest that creating an environment that encourages peer affiliation and personal achievement can result in the positive personal development of youth sport participants.

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Dana K. Voelker, Dan Gould, and Michael J. Crawford

The purpose of this study was to gain a thorough understanding of the high school sport captaincy experience. Thirteen university freshmen (7 males, 6 females) who were high school sport captains the previous year participated in 60—90 min semistructured interviews. Hierarchical content analysis of the data revealed that the majority of participants believed that their captainship experience was positive, but also cited difficult aspects such as having responsibility/being held accountable, being scrutinized/meeting expectations, and staying neutral in conflict situations. The majority of captains also reported receiving little to no training from coaches for their captaincy role and indicated that they learned to lead largely from previous life experiences, such as by observing significant others and learning through trial and error. Results on perceived roles and duties, perceived effectiveness, attitudes toward formal leadership training, and recommendations for future captains are also provided. Implications for designing youth sport leadership development interventions and advancing research on youth leadership are discussed.

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Robert J. Schinke, Gershon Tenenbaum, Ronnie Lidor, and Randy C. Battochio

Adaptation is defined here as the end point in a process, when people respond in a positive manner to hardship, threat, and challenge, including monumental sport tests, such as international tournaments. Recently, there have been formal research investigations where adaptation has been considered as a provisional framework, with a more formal structure of pathways. Sport scholars have studied Olympic and professional athletes, provided support for a theoretical framework, and identified provisional substrategies for each pathway. In this article the authors situate adaptation within a larger discourse of related interventions, including coping and self-regulation. Subsequently, adaptation is proposed as a comprehensive intervention strategy for elite athletes during monumental sport environments.

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Zoe Knowles and David Gilbourne

The present article contemplates the future of reflective practice in the domain of applied sport psychology and, in so doing, seeks to engender further critical debate and comment. More specifically, the discussion to follow revisits the topic of ‘reflective-levels’ and builds a case for ‘critical reflection’ as an aspiration for those engaged in pedagogy or applied sport psychology training regimens. Assumptions and commentators associated with critical social science (e.g., Habermas, 1974; Carr & Kemmis, 1986), action research (e.g., Carr & Kemmis, 1986; Leitch & Day, 2000), and critical reflection (e.g., Morgan, 2007) suggest a number of foundation points from which critical reflection might be better understood. Finally, writing about ones-self via the processes of critical reflection and through reflective practice more generally are briefly considered in cautionary terms (Bleakley, 2000; du Preez, 2008). Auto-ethnography in sport (Gilbourne, 2002; Stone, 2009) is finally proposed as one potential source of illustration and inspiration for reflective practitioners in terms of both content and style.

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John Coumbe-Lilley