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Richard Tahtinen, Michael McDougall, Niels Feddersen, Olli Tikkanen, Robert Morris and Noora J. Ronkainen

Individual differences in vulnerability to depression are still underexplored in athletes. We tested the influence of different brooding and reflective rumination profiles (i.e., repetitive thought processes in response to low/depressed mood) on the odds of experiencing clinically relevant depressive symptoms in competitive athletes (N = 286). The Patient Health Questionnaire–9 and the Ruminative Responses Scale–short form were utilized to measure depression and rumination, respectively. Compared to athletes with a low brooding/reflection profile, athletes with a high brooding/reflection profile had significantly higher odds of experiencing clinical levels of depressive symptoms (OR = 13.40, 95% CI = 3.81–47.11). A high reflection/low brooding profile was not, however, related to increased odds of depressive symptoms. Future research could extend our findings by exploring determinants of ruminative tendencies, especially brooding, in athletes. Furthermore, psychological interventions targeting rumination could be examined as a potential prevention and treatment approach to tackling depressive symptoms in athletes.

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Oladipo O. Eddo, Bryndan W. Lindsey, Shane V. Caswell, Matt Prebble and Nelson Cortes

Gait modification using real-time biofeedback is a conservative intervention associated with positive outcomes. Results from systematic reviews corroborate the effectiveness of various strategies employing real-time biofeedback for reducing estimated knee joint load. The effects on the nonmodified limb, however, remain unclear. Biomechanical changes to the nonmodified limb were investigated during unilaterally implemented medial knee thrust, lateral trunk lean, and toe-in foot progression. Nineteen healthy participants were recruited. Ten trials were completed for each gait condition including baseline. Assigned magnitude for each gait modification strategy was individualized based on the mean and SD of the gait parameter during baseline. Visual real-time biofeedback was provided. During medial knee thrust, participants’ nonmodified limb presented with increased: first peak medial knee contact force, internal first peak knee extensor moment, as well as knee- and hip-flexion angles at internal first peak knee extensor moment. Observed biomechanical changes are elucidative of the body’s attempt to attenuate increased external loads. These findings may carry significant implications for pathological populations. Load redistribution to the nonmodified side may result in unfavorable long-term outcomes particularly in patients with bilateral diagnosis. Future studies should explore acute and chronic changes in the nonmodified limb of individuals with knee osteoarthritis.

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Aisha Chen, Sandhya Selvaraj, Vennila Krishnan and Shadnaz Asgari

Accurate and reliable detection of the onset of gait initiation is essential for the correct assessment of gait. Thus, this study was aimed at evaluation of the reliability and accuracy of 3 different center of pressure–based gait onset detection algorithms: A displacement baseline–based algorithm (method 1), a velocity baseline–based algorithm (method 2), and a velocity extrema–based algorithm (method 3). The center of pressure signal was obtained during 10 gait initiation trials from 16 healthy participants and 3 participants with Parkinson’s disease. Intrasession and absolute reliability of each algorithm was assessed using the intraclass correlation coefficient and the coefficient of variation of center of pressure displacement during the postural phase of gait initiation. The accuracy was evaluated using the time error of the detected onset by each algorithm relative to that of visual inspection. The authors’ results revealed that although all 3 algorithms had high to very high intrasession reliabilities in both healthy subjects and subjects with Parkinson’s disease, methods 2 and 3 showed significantly better absolute reliability than method 1 in healthy controls (P = .001). Furthermore, method 2 outperformed the other 2 algorithms in both healthy subjects and subjects with Parkinson’s disease with an overall accuracy of 0.80. Based on these results, the authors recommend using method 2 for accurate and reliable gait onset detection.

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Robin S. Vealey, Robin Cooley, Emma Nilsson, Carly Block and Nick Galli

The purpose of this study was to examine the types and perceived usefulness of questionnaires used by consultants in applied intervention work with athletes in 2003 and 2017, as well as to understand consultants’ perceptions of the advantages, limitations, and needs regarding the use of questionnaires in consulting. Sport psychology consultants in 2003 (n = 96) and 2017 (n = 106) completed a questionnaire that included Likert-scale questions as well as open-ended questions. The percentage of consultants who used questionnaires decreased from 83% in 2003 to 67% in 2017. Consultants in 2003 rated questionnaires as more useful than consultants in 2017, although the specific questionnaires used by consultants did not change extensively over the 14-year period. Advantages in using questionnaires included efficiency, structure of assessment, consensual validation, and credibility, while limitations included lack of relevance, undermining of athlete-consultant relationship, interpretive problems, and cost and lack of access.

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Kristin D. Morgan

Between-limb deficits in vertical ground reaction force (vGRF) production continue to remain years after anterior cruciate ligament rehabilitation, resulting in altered dynamic stability. However, the challenge is in identifying ways to assess this between-limb stability. This study implemented second-order autoregressive [AR(2)] modeling and its stationarity triangle to both quantitatively and visually delineate differences in dynamic stability from peak vGRF data in controls and post-anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR) individuals during running. It was hypothesized that post-ACLR individuals would exhibit less dynamic stability than the controls, and that they would reside in a different location on the stationarity triangle, thus denoting differences in stability. The results presented supported the hypothesis that post-ACLR individuals exhibited significantly less dynamic stability than their control counterparts based on their model coefficients (AR1 P < .01; AR2 P = .02). These findings suggested that the post-ACLR individuals adopted a similar running pattern, possibly due to muscle weakness asymmetry, which was less dynamically stable and potentially places them at greater risk for injury. The ability of this approach to both quantitatively and visually delineate differences between these 2 groups indicates its potential as a return-to-sport decision tool.

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Yumeng Li, He Wang and Kathy J. Simpson

The purpose of the study was to compare the tibiofemoral contact forces of participants with chronic ankle instability versus controls during landings using a computer-simulated musculoskeletal model. A total of 21 female participants with chronic ankle instability and 21 pair-matched controls performed a drop landing task on a tilted force plate. A 7-camera motion capture system and 2 force plates were used to test participants’ lower-extremity biomechanics. A musculoskeletal model was used to calculate the tibiofemoral contact forces (femur on tibia). No significant between-group differences were observed for the peak tibiofemoral contact forces (P = .25–.48) during the landing phase based on paired t tests. The group differences ranged from 0.05 to 0.58 body weight (BW). Most participants demonstrated a posterior force (peak,  ∼1.1 BW) for most duration of the landing phase and a medial force (peak, ∼0.9 BW) and large compressive force (peak, ∼10 BW) in the landing phase. The authors conclude that chronic ankle instability may not be related to the increased tibiofemoral contact forces or knee injury mechanisms during landings on the tilted surface.

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Ashley A. Hansen, Joanne E. Perry, John W. Lace, Zachary C. Merz, Taylor L. Montgomery and Michael J. Ross

Evidence for the mechanisms of change by which sport psychology interventions enhance performance is limited and treatment monitoring and outcomes measures would assist in establishing evidence-based practices. The present paper fills a gap in sport psychology literature by demonstrating the development and validation of a new measure (Sport Psychology Outcomes and Research Tool; SPORT). Study 1 described test construction and pilot item selection with 73 collegiate student-athletes. Twenty-three pilot items contributed unique variance while maintaining the original constructs and were selected from 80 initial items. In Study 2, exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were conducted with collegiate student-athletes (n = 220), revealing a 17-item, four-factor model measuring Athlete Wellbeing, Self-Regulation, Performance Satisfaction, and Sport-Related Distress. Concurrent validity was supported through correlational analyses. Overall, results supported the SPORT as a new transtheoretical tool for monitoring effectiveness and outcomes of sport psychology interventions.

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Brian J. Foster and Graig M. Chow

Well-being research conducted in competitive athletics has been marred by the lack of a context-specific measurement instrument. The purpose of this study was to adapt the Mental Health Continuum – Short Form (MHC-SF) to create a sport-specific well-being instrument, the Sport Mental Health Continuum—Short Form (Sport MHC-SF), and test its initial psychometric properties. Participants were 287 collegiate athletes from a variety of sports. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) determined a three-factor structure of sport well-being, consisting of subjective, psychological, and social factors, as the model of best fit. Internal consistency reliabilities of the subscales exceeded .88. Moderate positive correlations were found between Sport MHC-SF subscales and quality of life indices, notably physical and emotional quality of life, demonstrating convergent validity. The Sport MHC-SF will facilitate empirical research by providing a more accurate and comprehensive measurement of well-being for an athletic population.

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Joshua J. Liddy, Amanda J. Arnold, HyeYoung Cho, Nathaniel L. Romine and Jeffrey M. Haddad

Holding an object has been found to reduce postural sway during quiet standing. However, people normally stand to accomplish suprapostural goals, such as fitting a key into a lock. Postural control should therefore be assessed by examining postural outcomes in the context of suprapostural task performance. This study assessed whether holding an object increased standing postural stability and improved the performance of a concurrent precision manual task. A total of 15 young adults performed a precision manual task with their dominant hand while holding or not holding an object in their nondominant hand. Postural stability was assessed using measures of postural sway and time to boundary. Suprapostural task performance was assessed as an error count. Holding did not influence postural sway or suprapostural task performance. Discrepancies among previous studies coupled with the present findings suggest that the effects of holding an object on standing posture are highly sensitive to the experimental context. The authors provide several explanations for their findings and discuss the limitations of previous suggestions that holding an object may have clinical relevance for balance-compromised populations.

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Bradley Donohue, Marina Galante, Julia Maietta, Bern Lee, Nina Paul, Joanne E. Perry, Arianna Corey and Daniel N. Allen

The conspicuous absence of validated screening measures specific to mental health symptomology in collegiate athletes has negatively affected clinical practice in this population. Therefore, this study was performed to develop a sport specific measure to optimally identify collegiate athletes who are particularly likely to benefit from mental health programming. Participants were 289 collegiate-athletes who were assessed for mental health symptomology using the Global Severity Index of Symptom Checklist-90-Revised (GSI), factors that interfere with sport performance using the Problems in Sport Competition Scale (PSCS) and Problems in Sport Training Scale (PSTS), and motivation to pursue professional counseling using the Desire to Pursue Sport Psychology Scale (DSPS). As hypothesized, a hierarchical multiple regression analysis indicated that PSCS, PSTS and DSPS scores significantly predicted GSI scores, controlling gender and sport status (NCAA, club, intramural). Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis indicated that high-risk athletes (GSI T-scores ≥ 60) could be correctly classified by PSTS and PSCS scores. Results suggest the PSCS and PSTS may assist identification of collegiate athletes who are especially appropriate for mental health programs. These scales additionally identify factors directly relevant to athletes’ sport performance.