Workaholism (i.e., working excessively and compulsively) is associated with negative physical, psychological, and social consequences. Researchers have previously examined antecedents of workaholism, but the experiences of sport coaches have not yet been investigated. This study explored (a) differences in National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I coaches’ workaholism, as well as need satisfaction and frustration based on gender, coaching role, gender of athletes coached, age, and years of coaching experience; and (b) how coaches’ perceptions of their three basic psychological needs are associated with tendencies to work excessively and compulsively. A total of 873 National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I coaches participated in the research. Data analyses revealed significant differences in participants’ workaholism as well as need satisfaction and frustration. Structural equation modeling indicated a significant relationship between reported levels of workaholism and perceptions of the three needs. Findings illustrate the importance of basic psychological needs in preventing coaches’ workaholism and maintain optimal functioning.
“No Days Off”: Using Self-Determination Theory to Better Understand Workaholism in National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Coaches
Kim Tolentino, Tucker Readdy, and Johannes Raabe
Tackle Your Feelings: Experience of Help-Seeking for Mental Well-Being Concerns in Professional Rugby Union Players
Deirdre Lyons, Philip Clarke, and Robert C. Dempsey
Limited research into professional rugby union players’ experiences of seeking formal support for their mental health exists, despite comparable rates of mental health issues among elite rugby players with the general population. This qualitative study explored professional players’ actual experiences of accessing Rugby Players Ireland’s mental well-being service, via separate focus group discussions with professional players (n = 5) and player development managers (n = 4) who refer players into the service. An inductive reflexive thematic analysis identified three themes detailing players’ (a) journey to disclosure of their mental health difficulties, (b) their expectations and engagement with the well-being service, and (c) participants’ reflections on mental health experiences in a high-performance environment. Embedding mental health as a key component of player development in high-performance environments, improving mental health literacy, normalizing mental health experiences, and encouraging help-seeking would help promote player well-being and support holistic development alongside sporting performance.
Living and Embracing Intersectionality in Sport: Introduction to the Special Issue Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology
Hannah Bennett, Robert Owens, and Tanya Prewitt-White
Cognitive Vulnerability to Mood Deterioration in an Exercise Cessation Paradigm
Maggie Evans, Kelly J. Rohan, Jonah Meyerhoff, Richard J. Norton, and Jeremy S. Sibold
Mood deterioration in response to exercise cessation is well documented, but moderators of this effect remain unknown. This study tested the hypothesis that physically active individuals with higher levels of cognitive vulnerability (i.e., tendencies toward negative thought content and processes in response to stress or negative mood states) are at greater risk for increased anxiety and depressive symptoms when undergoing exercise cessation. Community adults meeting recommended physical activity guidelines (N = 36) participated in a 4-week prospective, longitudinal study with 2 weeks each of maintained exercise and exercise cessation. Cognitive vulnerability measures included dysfunctional attitudes, brooding rumination, and cognitive reactivity (i.e., change in dysfunctional attitudes over a dysphoric mood induction). Anxiety and depression symptoms increased during exercise cessation. Brooding emerged as a risk factor for increases in tension scores on the Profile of Mood States–Brief during exercise cessation. Future studies should explore brooding as a mediator (i.e., potential mechanism) of exercise-induced mood deterioration.
Depression, Anxiety, and Help-Seeking Among NCAA Division III Athletes at a Historically Women’s College
Aidan D. Kraus and Erica Tibbetts
This study explored depression, anxiety, and help-seeking at a National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III historically women’s college in the United States, while taking into account gender identities outside of male and female. An online survey including the Patient Health Questionnaire-9, Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7, and help-seeking measures were completed by 109 student-athletes. Participants’ ages ranged from 18 to 22. Within the sample, 59.7% of participants identified as LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, among other identities) and 8.3% identified as genderqueer/gender-nonconforming. A total of 33.0% of the participants reported symptoms of depression, while 28.5% reported symptoms of anxiety. Genderqueer/gender-nonconforming athletes reported higher rates of anxiety than athletes who identified as women. Higher rates of depression and anxiety were related to higher levels of formal help-seeking. The results indicate that student-athletes at a historically women’s college may be experiencing higher levels of depression and anxiety than student-athletes in other contexts and have more positive views toward help-seeking. Student-athletes who identify outside of the gender binary may be at higher risk for anxiety.
Intersectionality in the Sport Psychology Classroom: Reflections From a Neophyte Instructor
Shelby N. Anderson
Sport psychology scholars have long called for the field to take intersectional approaches to research and applied practice. Missing from this call is the study of intersectionality in the classroom. Therefore, the purpose of this practice paper is to provide a resource for sport psychology practitioners to take an intersectional approach in their teaching. First, the author provides a brief overview of intersectional theory and approaches to using anti-oppressive practices in the classroom. The author then reflects on their experience utilizing an intersectional lens as a neophyte instructor. Finally, the author discusses lessons learned from this teaching experience. This practice paper serves as a resource for sport psychology scholars and practitioners to integrate the study of intersectionality in their roles. While this paper is written for the higher education classroom, all readers will gain knowledge on intersectional theory and how it can be integrated in their scholarship or applied practice.
Volume 16 (2022): Issue 3 (Sep 2022)
Mental Health Symptoms of Amateur Association Football Referees: A Cross-Sectional Study
Yavuz Lima, Sergen Devran, Tom Webb, and Bülent Bayraktar
Although referees who officiate in the amateur football leagues are exposed to various stressors that can negatively affect their mental health (MH), little is known about their MH symptoms. The purpose of the study was to evaluate MH symptoms of referees who officiate in the Turkish amateur football leagues. An online survey was sent to all referees in the Turkish amateur football leagues (n = 4,900) incorporating standardized scales assessing depression, anxiety, and stress. A total of 1,279 referees participated in the study. Female referees reported higher depression (p < .01) and anxiety (p = .02) scores than males. Younger referees (23–27 years) reported higher depression (p = .01) and anxiety (p < .01) scores than older (>38 years) referees. Results showed that symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress scores were associated with marital status (being single), lower incomes, severe sports injury history, and inadequate social support. In light of these results, MH assessments should be undertaken to detect which referees are at greater risk of MH problems and facilitate appropriate and timely MH interventions. Further study is needed to inform MH risk reduction strategies and/or programming.
“Horrible—But Worth It”: Exploring Weight Cutting Practices, Eating Behaviors, and Experiences of Competitive Female Taekwon-Do Athletes. A Mixed Methods Study
Karen A. Smith, Robert J. Naughton, Carl Langan-Evans, and Kiara Lewis
This mixed methods study aimed to investigate weight cutting practices of female taekwon-do athletes internationally and explore their experiences of “making weight.” A survey of weight loss practices and eating behaviors was completed by 103 taekwon-do athletes from 12 countries, which illustrated that 72.5% of athletes engage in both acute and chronic weight loss practices prior to competition and that there were higher levels of disordered eating within this athletic population than nonweight cutting athletes. Semistructured interviews were conducted with five international-level competitors; thematic analysis of the interviews identified that the women in general felt weight cutting was “horrible—but worth it” and the women believed that (a) weight cutting is unpleasant, difficult, and challenging; and (b) weight cutting provides a competitive advantage. The implications of this study are that weight cutting is widespread among high-level competitive female taekwon-do athletes and this is unlikely to change given the perceived advantages. Efforts are needed to make sure that the women are knowledgeable of the risks and are provided with safe and effective means of making weight.
Profiles of Mental Well- and Ill-Being Among Elite Athletes: Associations With Sport-Related Demands and Resources
Satu Kaski, Monna Arvinen-Barrow, Ulla Kinnunen, and Jari Parkkari
The aim of the present study was to identify profiles of elite athlete mental well- and ill-being and study how the profiles (i.e., subgroups of athletes) differed in sport-related demands and resources. A total of 259 Finnish elite athletes (n = 170 active and n = 89 retired) completed quantitative self-report inventories. Through cluster analysis, four profiles of mental well- and ill-being were identified. Profile 1 was overrepresented by retired, older, and male athletes, and characterized by good mental well-being. Profile 2 consisted mainly of active athletes who reported mild risk for alcohol abuse. Profile 3 consisted mainly of women who displayed possible presence of an eating disorder. Profile 4 was typical of young athletes with mental ill-being. The balance between sport-related demands and resources appeared to be the healthiest in Profile 1 and worst in Profile 4. The present findings are beneficial for those who work with and/or provide psychological support to athletes.