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  • Psychology and Behavior in Sport/Exercise x
  • Athletic Training, Therapy, and Rehabilitation x
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Michael Dressing, Jillian Wise, Jennifer Katzenstein and P. Patrick Mularoni

Does academic-related anxiety contribute to an adolescent’s recovery process and return to activity after experiencing a concussion? The authors created a novel measure of academic-related anxiety (Mularoni Measure of Academic Anxiety following Concussion [MMAAC]) and administered it to adolescents following concussion in outpatient pediatric sports medicine clinics. Two previously validated measures of anxiety were also administered, and results were compared with the MMAAC scores as well as the lengths of time for return to school and sports. Results show that higher MMAAC scores positively correlate with the length of time an adolescent needs to return to school. Study results indicate that the MMAAC reliably measures academic-related anxiety in adolescents suffering from concussions and can be helpful in predicting a basic timetable for return to school. The authors believe that this brief survey can be used by physicians in clinic to evaluate anxiety and assist with return to school expectations to provide comprehensive recovery support.

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Kathryn A. Coniglio and Edward A. Selby

Pathological exercise behavior is pervasive in eating disorder psychopathology, yet minimal treatment guidance exists for extinguishing it as little is known about how to differentiate pathological from healthy exercise. The purpose of this study was to characterize pathological exercise in terms of motivation to increase the specificity with which both pathological and healthy exercise is described and to inform treatment interventions. Latent profile analysis characterized homogenous groups based on exercise motivation in two samples: college women (n = 200) and women with eating psychopathology (n = 211). These profiles were compared on levels of eating and general psychopathology and emotion dysregulation. Three profiles emerged describing sedentary, pathological exercise, and athlete groups in the first sample, and five profiles describing neutral, sedentary, weight loss, athlete, and pathological exercise groups emerged in the second sample. Findings indicate that motivation style is salient in defining pathological exercise and may, therefore, be a clinically useful treatment target.

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Erika D. Van Dyke, Aaron Metzger and Sam J. Zizzi

Little research has integrated mindfulness and perfectionism, particularly within sports wherein athletes are judged on performance to a standard of perfection. The current study had two primary aims: (a) to explore profiles of mindfulness and perfectionism among intercollegiate gymnasts through a person-centered approach and (b) to analyze differences in objective performance across the resulting profiles. The analytic sample consisted of 244 NCAA gymnasts who completed self-report measures of mindfulness and perfectionism. Competitive performance records (i.e., national qualifying scores) were then gathered for participating gymnasts. Cluster analyses revealed a three-cluster solution; however, significant performance differences were not observed across the three profiles due to lower than desired power. Small to moderate effect size estimates provided some evidence that perfectionism may be adaptive to gymnastics performance. Elite-level athletes were represented across three distinct profiles, suggesting that more than one profile of characteristics may be adaptive for reaching high levels of performance.

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Graig M. Chow, Matthew D. Bird, Nicole T. Gabana, Brandon T. Cooper and Martin A. Swanbrow Becker

Student-athletes are susceptible to mental health problems that disrupt optimal functioning and well-being. Despite having many protective factors, student-athletes represent an at-risk subgroup of college students who experience mental health concerns due to the distress of balancing multiple obligations. However, many student-athletes underutilize psychological services. Stigma is the main barrier preventing student-athletes from seeking help, and mental health literacy (MHL) interventions addressing knowledge and beliefs about mental disorders have traditionally been used to destigmatize mental illness. This study investigated the impact of a 4-week program on stigma, MHL, and attitudes and intentions toward seeking help with 33 National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I student-athletes. The program was composed of four science-based interventions—MHL, empathy, counter stereotyping, and contact—delivered face-to-face within a group setting. MHL, attitudes toward seeking help, and intentions to seek counseling improved from preintervention to postintervention and to 1-month follow-up. Self-stigma was reduced from preintervention to postintervention.

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Thomas D. Raedeke, Victoria Blom and Göran Kenttä

This study evaluated the relationship of perfectionism and self-perceptions with burnout and life satisfaction in aesthetic performers (N = 254) recruited in Sweden. Cluster analysis revealed four groups: perfectionistic with maladaptive self-perceptions, perfectionistic (parent-driven) with maladaptive self-perceptions, achievement-oriented with adaptive self-perceptions, and nonperfectionistic with adaptive self-perceptions. Performers in both maladaptive clusters reported characteristics suggesting they were perfectionistic compared to their peers. They also reported relatively high contingent self-worth and low basic self-esteem. In contrast, those in the nonperfectionistic with adaptive self-perceptions cluster scored relatively low on perfectionism and reported relatively high basic self-esteem and low contingent self-worth. The performers in the achievement-oriented with adaptive self-perceptions cluster reported average scores across most variables, moderately high personal standards, and higher basic self-esteem compared with contingent self-worth. Overall, performers in both maladaptive clusters reported the highest burnout and lowest life satisfaction. Study findings underscore the importance of perfectionism and self-perceptions when considering burnout and life satisfaction.

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Britton W. Brewer, Christine M. Caldwell, Albert J. Petitpas, Judy L. Van Raalte, Miquel Pans and Allen E. Cornelius

A sport-specific, self-report measure of identity foreclosure was developed through a systematic process that included item pool generation, expert review, administration of items to a development sample of intercollegiate student athletes (N = 326), item evaluation, and administration of scales to validation samples of intercollegiate student athletes (N = 322, N = 54, and N = 64, respectively). The process yielded two four-item scales reflecting commitment to the occupational identity of athlete and one 4-item scale reflecting active exploration of roles other than that of athlete that (a) are internally consistent and temporally stable, (b) demonstrate preliminary factorial and convergent validity, and (c) can be used to create indices of identity foreclosure tailored to the sport context. The resulting Sport-Specific Measure of Identity Foreclosure has potential utility as an assessment tool for research and practice with athletes.

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Edson Filho

By bridging the literature on shared mental models and the individual zones of optimal functioning, the author advances a new framework called the shared zones of optimal functioning. The shared zones of optimal functioning is a probabilistic methodology designed to (a) capture optimal and suboptimal performance experiences in teams, (b) track team momentum through the analysis of within-team performance fluctuations, and (c) estimate within-team psycho–bio–social synchrony and leader–follower dynamics (i.e., leader–follower dichotomy, shared leadership). To test the shared zones of optimal functioning framework, three dyadic juggling teams were asked to juggle for 60 trials, while having their performance, arousal, pleasantness, and attentional levels recorded. Ordinal logistic regression, frequency counts, and cross-correlation analyses revealed that each team showed idiosyncratic affective and attentional levels linked to optimal performance, team momentum patterns, and leader–follower dynamics. The implications of these findings for the development of high-performing teams and specific avenues of future research are discussed throughout.

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Tyler L. Malone, Adam Kern, Emily Klueh and Daniel Eisenberg

This study sought to determine the efficacy of particular strategies for delivering information about coping skills for stress to college student-athletes. This study analyzed 166 undergraduate varsity student-athletes. Among these participants, 60.8% were female (n = 101). The authors used a randomized controlled trial to compare video-based and text-based interventions designed to deliver coping skills information. Five weeks after the intervention, the participants completed a follow-up survey containing simple self-report questions regarding the memorability, use, and helpfulness of the coping skills information. In general, both strategies led to the use of coping skills by a sizeable proportion of the sample. The participants in the video-based deep breathing intervention were more than twice as likely to use coping skills compared with participants in the text-based intervention (risk ratio = 2.20, 95% confidence interval [1.02, 4.71], p = .03). Overall, the results suggest that both video- and text-based interventions have the potential to promote coping skills.