The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how case study methodology, an advocacy practice and policy model (APPM), and new directions in feminist theory can be utilized to educate coaches about sexual misconduct. Case studies are useful for both research and teaching purposes because they provide a potential framework for analyses of “real-world” problems. The APPM provides guidance on moving from analysis to action; in particular, advocacy is about education, negotiation, and persuasion. Feminist theorists push us to consider how the embodied experiences of female athletes and feminine subjectivities can unsettle and disrupt normative assumptions about the way that sport should be conducted. The case of Larry Nassar is utilized because of the amount of reporting available to analyze; this includes female athlete survivor voices. Having coaches wrestle with such questions as (a) Do I know the definitions of sexual misconduct? (b) Do I understand the warning signs a female athlete might be displaying if she is being abused by significant other in sport? (c) When do I have to report abuse to authorities? and (d) Do I know how to intervene on the athlete’s behalf? is important if we are to increase the likelihood of creating systemic change.
Jason S. Grindstaff and Leslee A. Fisher
The purpose of this study was to explore sport psychology consultants’ experiences of using hypnosis in their practice. Specifically a better understanding of hypnosis utilization as a performance enhancement technique in applied sport psychology was sought. Semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted with six sport psychology consultants (all PhDs) who each possessed training and experience related to hypnosis. Analysis of the interview data revealed a variety of major themes and subthemes related to the guiding interview questions: (a) hypnosis training and experience, (b) stereotypes and misconceptions related to hypnosis, (c) utilizing hypnosis as a performance enhancement technique, (d) advantages and disadvantages of using hypnosis with athletes, and (e) cultural considerations related to using hypnosis.
Jamie M. Fynes and Leslee A. Fisher
The purpose of this study was to explore the congruence of identity in 10 former U.S. NCAA Division I (DI) lesbian student-athletes using a semistructured personal identity interview guide (adapted from Fisher, 1993) and Consensual Qualitative Research (CQR) (Hill, 2012; Hill, Knox, Thompson, Williams, Hess, & Ladany, 2005). Five domains, nineteen categories, and related core ideas were found in the transcribed interviews. The five domains were: (a) stereotypes and perceptions of female athletes; (b) stereotypes and perceptions of lesbians and lesbian athletes; (c) climate for LGBT athletes; (d) negotiating identities; and (e) recommendations for college campuses. The main goal of the current study was to determine whether lesbian athletes felt comfortable being who they are in the context of U.S. DI sport. Recommendations for how applied sport psychology consultants, coaches, and administrators, all of whom play an important role in athletes’ collegiate sport experience, could change the structure of U.S. universities to help lesbian student-athletes become more comfortable are given.
Leslee A. Fisher and Brenda J.L. Bredemeier
The purpose of this study was twofold: (a) to investigate the moral orientations of professional female bodybuilders and (b) to explore the relationship between professional female bodybuilders’ moral orientations when reasoning about self-identified and standardized hypothetical (steroid) moral dilemmas. Ten professional female bodybuilders ranging in age from 26 to 40 years participated in the study. Results revealed that female bodybuilders used both justice and care reasoning in their considerations of moral dilemmas encountered in the bodybuilding context; however, one moral orientation predominated over the other for each participant. Although Gilligan and colleagues (Brown et al., 1988) claim that women tend to use predominantly care reasoning, the present study found that half the participants used a justice perspective. Results are discussed in light of Rest’s (Rest, Narvaez, Bebeau, & Thoma, 1999) supposition that care and justice are ideals appropriate to different kinds of social situations and are complementary rather than rival moralities.
Karen M. Appleby and Leslee A. Fisher
Rock climbing has been traditionally defined as a “masculine” sport (Young, 1997). The experiences of women in this sport have rarely been studied. The purpose of this study was to investigate the experiences of high-level female rock climbers. Qualitative analysis of interviews with eight high-level female climbers (ages 19 to 30 years) revealed three general themes: (a) compliance to hegemonic gender norms, (b) questioning hegemonic gender norms, and (c) resisting hegemonic gender norms. A discussion and analysis of these themes suggests that these female rock climbers engaged in a process of negotiated resistance as they attained a climbing identity, gained acceptance into the climbing subculture, and increased performance in the sport of rock climbing.
Emily A. Roper, Leslee A. Fisher, and Craig A. Wrisberg
In 1995, Gill discussed women’s place in the history and development of sport psychology. However, no research to date has explored women’s experiences working in the field of sport psychology. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of professional women’s career histories and experiences in sport psychology. The study was framed by qualitative research, and eight professional women working in the field of sport psychology were interviewed. Analysis of the data produced themes in the categories of (a) entrance into sport psychology, (b) women’s status in sport psychology, (c) qualified obstacles, (d) the feminist sport psychologist, and (e) supporting women in sport psychology. Differences between co-participants were also noted regarding the extent to which various themes were or were not a part of their experiences.
Rebecca A. Zakrajsek, Leslee A. Fisher, and Scott B. Martin
Nine (5 female, 4 male) certified athletic trainers (ATs) from a National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I institution participated in semistructured interviews about their experiences with sport psychology services and perceptions on the potential role of sport psychology consultants (SPCs) in student-athlete development. Through consensual qualitative research procedures, 3 domains were constructed: knowledge of availability and understanding of sport psychology services, perceptions of sport psychology services for injury rehabilitation, and use of sport psychology services for sport performance. Interacting professionally with SPCs, working with sport teams that use sport psychology services, and receiving mentorship from senior ATs who have “bought in” to sport psychology were identified as underlying factors that influenced ATs’ knowledge and use of services. Recommendations for how SPCs can nurture collaborative relationships between themselves and ATs are also provided.
Leslee A. Fisher, Ted M. Butryn, and Emily A. Roper
The central purpose of this paper is to speculate on the ways that sport psychology researchers, educators, and practitioners can use a cultural studies perspective to enhance their research and applied work. At base, cultural studies critiques and challenges existing norms and practices and examines how these practices affect people in their everyday lives (Hall, 1996a). Although cultural studies has been notoriously difficult to define (see Storey, 1996), most cultural studies projects deal with the interrelated issues of (a) social difference, (b) the distribution of power, and (c) social justice. In this paper, cultural studies is first defined, incorporating sport-related examples wherever possible. Next, key concepts in cultural studies including power, privilege, and praxis are explored. We then discuss how sport psychology scholars and practitioners might promote an “athletes-as-citizens” (Sage, 1993) model of service provision in the applied setting.
Trevor J. Egli, Leslee A. Fisher, and Noah Gentner
In this paper, the experiences of nine AASP-certified sport psychology consultants (SPCs) working with athletes who invoke spirituality in their consulting sessions are described. After a brief review of terms and literature, consultants’ own words from interview transcripts are used to illustrate four major themes. These were: (a) SPC definitions of spirituality; (b) SPC definitions of faith: (c) SPC perceived challenges; and (d) spirituality implementation within consulting session. We conclude by addressing why we believe that spirituality is a cultural competence component and why sport psychology consultants should engage with the ongoing development of cultural competency.