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Britton W. Brewer, Joanne M. Daly, Judy L. Van Raalte, Albert J. Petitpas and Joseph H. Sklar

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Britton W. Brewer, Judy L. Van Raalte, Albert J. Petitpas, Alan D. Bachman and Robert A. Weinhold

To assess the way in which sport psychology is portrayed in the media, the content and tone of all articles (N = 574) from three national newspapers in the United States that mentioned sport psychology from 1985-1993 were examined. Although few articles were focused primarily on sport psychology, a wide variety of sports and professionals were identified in association with sport psychology. Interventions noted explicitly were predominantly cognitive-behavioral procedures. Performance enhancement was the primary purpose of sport psychology consultation described in the articles. The vast majority of articles were neutral in tone toward sport psychology, portraying the field in objective terms. The findings suggest that the mass media can be used to promote accurate perceptions of sport psychology to the public.

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Judy L. Van Raalte, Staci R. Andrews, Allen E. Cornelius, Britton W. Brewer and Albert J. Petitpas

Although graduation rates for intercollegiate student-athletes in the United States have hit record highs in recent years, many student-athletes lag behind their nonathlete peers in terms of career readiness. The purpose of this research was to create and evaluate a theoretically grounded, evidence-based career development workshop for student-athletes. In Study 1, 28 college and university professionals reviewed the Career Self-Exploration for Student-Athletes Workshop Presenter’s Guide and online training videos. Workshop materials were revised based on feedback received. In Study 2, a national sample of 158 student-athletes participated in a controlled field trial. Results indicated that participating in the Career Self-Exploration for Student-Athletes Workshop enhanced student-athletes’ career self-efficacy relative to a control group. These findings suggest that the Career Self-Exploration for Student-Athletes Workshop, available online for free, can be used by campus professionals to enhance career development opportunities for student-athletes across geographic regions and resource availability levels.

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Joanne M. Daly, Britton W. Brewer, Judy L. Van Raalte, Albert J. Petitpas and Joseph H. Sklar

Cognitive appraisal models of adjustment to sport injury hold that cognitive appraisals of the injury determine emotional responses to the injury, which in turn influence behavioral responses (e.g., adherence to rehabilitation). To test this model, recreational and competitive athletes undergoing rehabilitation following knee surgery (N = 31) appraised their ability to cope with their injury and completed a measure of mood disturbance. Adherence to rehabilitation was measured in terms of attendance at rehabilitation sessions and physical therapist/athletic trainer ratings of patient behavior during rehabilitation sessions. As predicted, cognitive appraisal was associated with emotional disturbance. Emotional disturbance was inversely related to one measure of adherence (attendance) but was unrelated to the other measure of adherence (physical therapist/athletic trainer ratings). The results of this study provide support for cognitive appraisal models and suggest that emotional disturbance may be a marker for poor adherence to sport injury rehabilitation regimens.

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Albert J. Petitpas, Allen E. Cornelius, Judy L. Van Raalte and Tiffany Jones

Although there is considerable interest in the use of sport as a vehicle to promote psychosocial development in youth, little is known about the specific content or implementation strategies that are likely to account for positive outcomes. In this article, a brief review of current literature and a working definition of youth development through sport are provided to lay a foundation for a framework for planning youth sport programs that are structured to promote psychosocial development in participants. The components of the framework are outlined and suggestions for research, evaluation, and program development are offered.

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Britton W. Brewer, Karin E. Jeffers, Albert J. Petitpas and Judy L. Van Raalte

Two experiments were conducted to evaluate perceptions of three different psychological interventions in the context of sport injury rehabilitation. In Experiment 1, college students (N = 161) rated their perceptions of goal setting, imagery, or counseling as an adjunct to physical therapy for a hypothetical injured athlete. In Experiment 2, injured athletes (N = 20) received brief introductory sessions of goal setting, imagery, and counseling. Subjects’ perceptions were assessed immediately following each intervention. In both experiments, subjects displayed a preference for goal setting, although positive perceptions were obtained for all three interventions. Females’ perceptions of the interventions were significantly more positive than those of males in Experiment 1, but not in Experiment 2. The findings suggest that goal setting, imagery, and counseling are sufficiently credible to be examined in controlled outcome studies with injured athletes.

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Britton W. Brewer, Adisa Haznadar, Dylan Katz, Judy L. Van Raalte and Albert J. Petitpas

The purpose of this research was to develop and evaluate a 5-min structured mental warm-up involving aspects of goal setting, imagery, arousal regulation, and positive self-talk. Results of a study that featured a pretest–posttest design with 101 male youth soccer players (Study 1) and a study that featured a repeated-measures experimental design with 29 female intercollegiate soccer players (Study 2) indicated that executing the mental warm-up was associated with significantly greater readiness to perform and to use mental skills to enhance performance. In Study 3, 30 male high school soccer players used the mental warm-up daily over a competitive season and rated it as acceptable (albeit less so than their physical warm-up) at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of the season. The findings suggest that a mental warm-up is both acceptable to athletes and potentially useful in helping them prepare for training and competition.

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Judy L. Van Raalte, Britten W. Brewer, Patricia M. Rivera and Albert J. Petitpas

In sport psychology, there is broad interest in cognitive factors that affect sport performance. The purpose of this research was to examine one such factor, self-talk, in competitive sport performance. Twenty-four junior tennis players were observed during tournament matches. Their observable self-talk, gestures, and match scores were recorded. Players also described their positive, negative, and other thoughts on a postmatch questionnaire. A descriptive analysis of the self-talk and gestures that occurred during competition was generated. It was found that negative self-talk was associated with losing and that players who reported believing in the utility of self-talk won more points than players who did not. These results suggest that self-talk influences competitive sport outcomes. The importance of "believing" in self-talk and the potential motivational and detrimental effects of negative self-talk on performance are discussed.

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Annamari Maaranen, Erica G. Beachy, Judy L. Van Raalte, Britton W. Brewer, Thaddeus J. France and Albert J. Petitpas

Mental blocks, phenomena in which athletes lose the ability to perform previously automatic skills, are well known but poorly understood. Study 1 was designed to assess mental blocks in gymnastics and determine if such blocks are distinct from related conditions, such as slumps, choking, and fear of injury. Mental blocks were reported to have unique characteristics and to affect backward moving skills. Study 2 was a qualitative analysis of the experiences of 5 gymnasts currently experiencing mental blocks on backward moving skills. Such block is called flikikammo and was described as cycling on and off, spreading to other events and skills, affecting visualization, and worsening when performance of the affected skills was forced by coaches. The findings are the first to detail the experience of gymnasts currently experiencing the condition. Additional research may help identify ways to alleviate and/or prevent flikikammo.

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Britton W. Brewer, Allen E. Cornelius, Judy L. Van Raalte, Albert J. Petitpas, Joseph H. Sklar, Mark H. Pohlman, Robert J. Krushell and Terry D. Ditmar