People who live in the villas (i.e., slums) of Buenos Aires are confronted with poverty, poor and dangerous living conditions, and discrimination. Ten weeks were spent in the villas delivering a program designed to enhance life satisfaction and self-worth through games and the development of mental skills. The purpose of this paper is not to report on the content or the effectiveness of the program, but rather to explore the variables within Argentina and the villas as well as my own cultural biases that may have influenced the delivery of a psychological intervention program. Argentine factors include a high prevalence of psychologists and a psychoanalytic focus. Characteristics of the villas include environmental factors (e.g., transportation issues, sanitation), logistical issues (e.g., venues, access to writing implements), and psychological matters (e.g., hopelessness, different perceptions of confidence). Practitioner concerns included limited familiarity with life in the villas and having values that might be different from those of the participants. The discussion includes recommendations for others who are considering working in similar cultural and contextual situations.
Stephanie J. Hanrahan
John Mahoney and Stephanie J. Hanrahan
The purpose of this study was to research the experiences of four injured athletes during their rehabilitation from ACL injuries and to examine the potential usefulness of an adapted ACT intervention in addressing individuals’ adherence to rehabilitation protocols and their general psychological well-being. We investigated the usefulness of a brief, 4-session ACT program adapted for educational purposes and presented data as case studies. The case studies suggested that (a) the injured athletes experienced a multitude of private events immediately following injury, throughout their recovery, and when approaching a full return to sport; (b) the injured athletes typically avoided these private events and engaged in emotion-driven behaviors; (c) an adapted ACT approach for educational purposes could be useful on at least a basic level to help injured athletes accept private events, commit to rehabilitation behaviors, and have some certainty about returning to sport; and (d) more could be done to address the needs of injured athletes beyond the structure of our 4-session educational intervention. We concluded that the ACT-based intervention, to a certain extent, educated injured athletes about how to meet the challenges of their recoveries and how to commit to their rehabilitations, as well as to exhibit behaviors that would potentially permit their successful reentries to sport.
Rebecca K. Dickinson and Stephanie J. Hanrahan
This study investigated the properties of the Athens Insomnia Scale (Soldatos et al., 2000), the Fatigue Severity Scale (Krupp et al., 1989), and subscales of the SLEEP-50 Questionnaire (Spoormaker et al., 2005) in elite Australian athletes, to determine their appropriateness for this population. Fifty-nine athletes (29 male, 30 female, M = 21.86 yrs, SD = 7.44) from elite basketball, rowing, netball, beach volleyball, and sailing squads completed measures. A subset (n= 20) completed measures again at a 1-month interval, and a further subset (n= 5) were interviewed about their thoughts regarding the measures and their understanding of sleep. All scales and subscales displayed high internal consistency, apart from that which contained items not theoretically related, and all displayed good 1-month test-retest reliability. All measures were significantly correlated, demonstrating convergent validity. Athletes reported few sleep problems, but moderate fatigue. Athletes stated the measures produced accurate reflections of their sleep and fatigue, but also suggested improvements. Research limitations and implications are discussed.
Stephanie J. Hanrahan, J. Robert Grove, and Richard J. Lockwood
This paper presents the development and implementation of a psychological skills training program for blind athletes. The structure of the program was based on the personal accounts of successful athletes and the results of studies using sighted athletes. Skills designed to give insight to the body/mind relationship, raise or lower arousal levels, maintain motivation, prepare for competition, and improve problem-solving abilities were introduced to the athletes. Participants completed a self-assessment of psychological skills to determine the skill areas they had strengths in and therefore should take advantage of as well as those mental skill areas in which they could improve. A qualitative evaluation of the program is presented and recommendations for future programs are discussed. Overall, few changes were needed to accommodate for the athletes’ visual impairments.
Robert J. Schinke, Stephanie Hanrahan, Duke Peltier, Ginette Michel, Richard Danielson, Patricia Pickard, Chris Pheasant, Lawrence Enosse, and Mark Peltier
This study was designed to elucidate the pre-competition and competition practices of elite Canadian Aboriginal athletes. Elite Canadian Aboriginal athletes (N = 23) participated in semi-structured interviews. Data were segmented into meaning units by academic and Aboriginal community-appointed members, and verified with each respondent individually through mail and a password-protected website. Competition tactics were divided into three chronological stages, each with specific athlete strategies: (a) general training before competitions, (b) pre-competition week, and (c) competition strategies. The majority of the numerous strategies they reported could be considered as reflecting native traditions, appropriate attitudes/perspective, or standard sport psychology techniques. Suggestions are proposed for applied researchers and practitioners working with cultural populations, as well as how these strategies might be developed for use with other populations.