There has been a paucity of literature discussing how to address consent procedures as part of ethics, practitioner development, and best practice in applied sport psychology. Several researchers have addressed ethical challenges (e.g., out-of-session contact, overidentification, time, and space). However, none have substantially considered the sport-specific issues related to consent, which sits at the heart of best practice. The scarcity of discussing consent is limiting sport psychology’s potential to establish itself as a more recognized profession. This article highlights some contextual issues that challenge the idea and efficacy of informed consent. It proposes adapting consent procedures in the collaboration between sport psychology practitioners and clients to better address the current contextual challenges in applied sport psychology. In doing so, the current paper introduces Empowered Consent, which is specifically designed to empower athletes and address challenges related to choosing interventions, contractual obligations, visibility in the environment, and staff trying to gain insights into confidential information. The author offers a model to enhance applied practice for those collaborating with athletes and other clients in sport.
Mark Jankowski, Sarah Partington, Nick Heather, and Elizabeth Partington
The purpose of this study was to provide new knowledge about the temporal and contextual aspects of the alcohol–sport relationship. Eight U.K. student-athletes completed the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test in their final year at university, 18 months, and 30 months after graduation. They also completed semistructured interviews about their drinking motives, behaviors, and life circumstances. Results showed that participants reduced their alcohol consumption after leaving university, but despite the onset of some adult responsibilities, most were still drinking at hazardous levels. After university, drinking took place with old friends, new colleagues, and new sporting teammates. At all time points, social drinking motives were the most prevalent. Findings demonstrate a relationship between alcohol and sport that is cemented at university but continues beyond it. Targeted interventions to reduce the role of alcohol in the social experience of sport are needed to support long-term athlete health.
Masood Mahfooz, Young-Eun Noh, and Eng Wah Teo
Evaluating athletes’ knowledge of and attitudes toward sports-related concussions is important. However, there is limited research involving South Asian athletes, partly due to the lack of a valid and reliable tool. This study, therefore, aimed to translate and validate the Rosenbaum Concussion Knowledge and Attitude Survey—Student Version, an established tool used to measure knowledge and attitude toward concussion, into Urdu. Rosenbaum Concussion Knowledge and Attitude Survey—Student Version was translated into Urdu using the standard guidelines and then completed by 369 athletes participating in contact sports at different universities in Pakistan. Confirmatory factor analysis was performed on the Concussion Attitude Index items to examine the underlying factorial structure. Construct validity of Concussion Attitude Index factors was also investigated using convergent and discriminant validity. The results showed that the Urdu version of the Rosenbaum Concussion Knowledge and Attitude Survey—Student Version has good psychometric properties and is a valid and reliable tool for evaluating Urdu-speaking athletes’ knowledge of and attitudes toward concussions.
Hannah Bennett, Robert Owens, and Tanya Prewitt-White
Courtney C. Walton, Kelsey J. Lewis, James Kirby, Rosemary Purcell, Simon M. Rice, and Margaret S. Osborne
This cross-sectional study explored athlete responses to the Compassion Motivation and Action Scales Self-Compassion Scale, examining its relationship with well-being. Athlete (N = 207; mean age 27.9 years) scores were consistent with previous population means. Scores on the Compassion Motivation and Action Scales Self-Compassion Scale did not differ between elite and nonelite athletes, nor did they correlate significantly with trait competitiveness. Significant differences emerged based on athlete well-being state, with athletes categorized as “flourishing” scoring higher on the total score and all subscales of the Compassion Motivation and Action Scales Self-Compassion Scale, as compared with those with “moderate mental health” (Cohen’s ds from 0.58 to 0.92). Furthermore, the distress tolerance subscale significantly mediated the relationship between self-compassion intentions and well-being (indirect path: B = 0.034, p < .001). The results suggest that self-compassionate intentions are not enough, and athletes may need support to tolerate the distress that comes with moving toward one’s own suffering.
Debra Kriger, Amélie Keyser-Verreault, Janelle Joseph, and Danielle Peers
Intersectional approaches are needed in sport research and administration to create significant changes in access, participation, and leadership. The operationalizing intersectionality framework—graphically represented as a wheel with spokes and points of traction—offers a nonexhaustive, evolving structure that can facilitate contextual, deliberate actions to disrupt overlapping systems of oppression. The framework was assembled to guide E-Alliance, the gender equity in sport in Canada research hub, in embodying its commitment to intersectional approaches and designed for broader application to sport. Current gender equity efforts mostly continue to prioritize the knowledge and needs of White, middle–upper-class, nondisabled, not fat, heteronormative, binary, cisgender women and have yet to achieve parity. Acting meaningfully on commitments to intersectional approaches means focusing on how axes work together and influence each other. The framework can help advance cultural sport psychology and ultimately improve athletic well-being.
Graig M. Chow, Lindsay M. Garinger, Jaison Freeman, Savanna K. Ward, and Matthew D. Bird
The aim of this study was to investigate expert practitioners’ approaches to conducting a first sport psychology session with individual clients as there is sparse empirical literature on this topic. Nine expert Certified Mental Performance Consultants completed a semistructured interview where they discussed experiences conducting a first meeting with an athlete. Primary objectives included establishing the relationship, setting guidelines and expectations, understanding the client’s background, identifying presenting concerns, and formulating the treatment plan and building skills. Building rapport was an aspect used to establish the relationship while discussing confidentiality was utilized to set guidelines. Important strategies employed to increase the perceived benefits to services included conveying the consulting approach and philosophy. Lessons learned centered around doing too much and not appreciating individual differences of clients. Findings show expert consultants aim to achieve similar broad objectives in the first session and provide a basis for best practices in this area.
Shinji Yamaguchi, Yujiro Kawata, Yuka Murofushi, Nobuto Shibata, and Tsuneyoshi Ota
This study examined the stress coping strategies of athletes with high psychological vulnerability. The participants were 487 university athletes (mean age = 19.8 years, SD = 0.88, 153 women). Data were collected using the Vulnerability Scale for University Athletes and General Coping Questionnaire and analyzed by conducting a multivariate analysis of variance. The results showed significant relationships between vulnerability and coping strategies (r = .11−.39). Vulnerability was most strongly related to the emotional support seeking aspect of emotion-oriented coping (r = .39). There was no significant difference in cognitive reinterpretation (r = .07). Vulnerability had a stronger relationship with emotion-oriented than problem-oriented coping, and high (vs. low) vulnerability athletes had significantly higher emotion-oriented-coping scores. These results suggest that vulnerable athletes need to be provided with appropriate emotional support to cope with stressful situations, as they rely heavily on a stress management strategy focusing on emotion regulation.
Lewis King, SarahJane Cullen, Jean McArdle, Adrian McGoldrick, Jennifer Pugh, Giles Warrington, and Ciara Losty
A large proportion of jockeys report symptoms associated with mental health difficulties (MHDs), yet most do not seek help from professional mental health support services. Due to the paucity of literature in this field, this study sought to explore jockeys’ barriers to, and facilitators of, help-seeking for MHDs. Twelve jockeys participated in semistructured interviews, subsequently analyzed via reflexive thematic analysis. Barriers to help-seeking included the negative perceptions of others (stigma and career implications), cultural norms (masculinity and self-reliance), and low mental health literacy (not knowing where to seek help, minimization of MHDs, negative perceptions of treatment, and recognizing symptoms). Facilitators to help-seeking included education (exposure to psychological support at a younger age), social support (from professionals, jockeys, family, and friends), and media campaigns (high-profile disclosures from jockeys). Findings are consistent with barrier and facilitator studies among general and athletic populations. Applied recommendations and future research considerations are presented throughout the manuscript.