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  • Author: David A. Shearer x
  • Psychology and Behavior in Sport/Exercise x
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Stephen Mellalieu, David A. Shearer and Catherine Shearer

Interpersonal conflict is a common factor reported by governing bodies and their athletes when preparing for, or competing in, major games and championships (Olusoga, Butt, Hays, & Maynard, 2009). The aim of this study was to conduct a preliminary exploration of a UK home nation’s athletes, management, and support staff experiences of interpersonal conflict during competition. Ninety participants who had represented or worked for their nation at major games or championships completed a detailed survey of interpersonal conflict experiences associated with competition. The results suggest athletes, coaches, and team managers are at the greatest risk from interpersonal conflict, while the competition venue and athlete village are where the most incidences of conflict occur. Interpersonal conflict was also suggested to predominantly lead to negative cognitive, affective, and behavioral consequences (disagreement, anger, upset, loss in concentration). Findings are discussed in the context of the experience of the interpersonal conflict with provisional recommendations offered for developing effective strategies for conflict management.

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David A. Shearer, Stephen D. Mellalieu and Catherine R. Shearer

While posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is most commonly associated with survivors of traumatic events (e.g., combat), PTSD can occur after any situation in which victims perceive that their life or safety is threatened. In sport, athletes often place themselves in dangerous situations and are also exposed to the same lifestyle dangers as the general population. The literature on PTSD among athletes is sparse, and consequently, it is possible that many (non-clinical) sport psychologists would fail to recognize the symptoms and may subsequently fail to refer the athlete to the appropriate professional for clinical assistance. In the following case study, we present an example of an athlete suffering from PTSD following a serious bicycle accident in which she sustained head and facial injuries. We briefly detail the nature of PTSD and discuss how sport psychology services can be implemented alongside a parallel clinical intervention program. Finally, we offer recommendations for practice when working with athletes with PTSD.

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Adam M. Bruton, Stephen D. Mellalieu and David A. Shearer

The purpose of this multistudy investigation was to examine observation as an intervention for the manipulation of individual collective efficacy beliefs. Study 1 compared the effects of positive, neutral, and negative video footage of practice trials from an obstacle course task on collective efficacy beliefs in assigned groups. The content of the observation intervention (i.e., positive, neutral, and negative video footage) significantly influenced the direction of change in collective efficacy (p < .05). Study 2 assessed the influence of content familiarity (own team/sport vs. unfamiliar team/sport) on individual collective efficacy perceptions when observing positive footage of competitive basketball performance. Collective efficacy significantly increased for both the familiar and unfamiliar conditions postintervention, with the largest increase for the familiar condition (p < .05). The studies support the use of observation as an intervention to enhance individual perceptions of collective efficacy in group-based activities. The findings suggest that observations of any group displaying positive group characteristics are likely to increase collective efficacy beliefs; however, observation of one’s own team leads to the greatest increases.