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Renee Newcomer Appaneal, Frank M. Perna, and Kevin T. Larkin

Features of posttraumatic distress have been associated with treatment noncompliance and delayed surgical recovery among general medical and trauma populations. Although cognitive-affective and behavioral features of posttraumatic distress have been demonstrated among adult and adolescent athletes with injuries, physiological responses associated with posttraumatic distress have not yet been examined in this population. The objective of this study was to examine psychophysiological stress reactivity to orthopedic trauma among male athletes who sustained a severe sport injury. Athletes with injuries (n= 7) and non-injured athlete controls (n= 5) completed self-report measures of psychological distress and were then shown injury video footage while heart rate and skin conductance measures were recorded. After exposure to orthopedic trauma-related video footage, athletes with injuries demonstrated significantly greater skin conductance reactivity and subjective distress compared to controls. As demonstrated among other medical and trauma populations, athletes with injuries exhibit exaggerated stress reactivity profiles when primed with orthopedic trauma stimuli.

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Frank L. Gardner

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Kendahl M. Shortway, Andrew Wolanin, Jennifer Block-Lerner, and Donald Marks

Few studies have examined the development or implementation of protocols based on acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) to enhance sport injury rehabilitation, despite findings that suggest ACT may be an effective intervention for this purpose. The current article details the rationale for and design of Return to ACTion, an ACT-based protocol intended to target psychological flexibility and mindfulness to increase rehabilitation adherence and overall well-being for injured athletes. The initial feasibility of delivering the intervention at a Division III public university in the northeastern United States was also explored. Return to ACTion was offered in the athletic training facility to injured student-athletes during a 12-week period with recruitment assistance from the athletic trainers. Qualitative data pertaining to feasibility was collected with a log of observations maintained by the principal investigator and with verbal and electronic interactions with the athletic trainers. Although there were no participants in the intervention, there were important findings relevant to further application and research.

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Jeannine Ohlert, Thea Rau, and Marc Allroggen

The experience of sexual violence is known to be associated with a higher risk for depression and reduced long-term well-being, but the association has not been determined in elite athletes. Therefore, the aim of the current study was to further our understanding of the consequences of sexual violence experiences in elite athletes and into the influence of the context of the incidents. In total, 1529 German elite athletes took part in an online survey. Results reveal that athletes who had experienced sexual violence indicated lower well-being and a higher risk for depression. Also, the context of the incidents did influence the sexual violence – well-being/risk for depression relationship. In addition to showing that elite athletes are a very vulnerable group for different forms of interpersonal violence, our results underpin the need for more preventive measures in the area of (elite) sport when it comes to the prevention of interpersonal violence.

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Marja Kokkonen

This study surveyed 155 gender and sexual minority (GSM) sport participants to examine 1) nonverbal and verbal gender-based and sexual harassment by a coach in relation to psychological ill-being, and 2) differences in harassment due to gender and sexual orientation. Self-reported data from 93 females and 62 males was collected anonymously and analyzed using Spearman’s rank-order correlations and cross-tabulation with chi-square tests. Nonverbal and verbal gender-based and sexual harassment by a coach was related to more frequent stress, psychosomatic symptoms and depressive symptoms only in male GSM sport participants. Undermining was related to more frequent depressive symptoms in males. There were no statistically significant gender differences in harassment. As for sexual orientation, there was a statistically significant association between verbal harassment by the coach and sexual orientation. The present findings have scientific, educational and clinical importance for sport psychologists involved in research, coach education and applied work.