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Psychological and Social Needs: Athletes’ and Mental Performance Consultants’ Perspectives on a Gap in Concussion Protocols

Cassandra M. Seguin and Diane M. Culver

While research advancements have substantially improved concussion management efforts, consideration for the psychological and social aspects of concussive injuries have remained largely absent from concussion protocols. The present study was undertaken to identify elite athletes’ psychological and social needs during the recovery process. Elite athletes with a history of concussion and mental performance consultants who work with concussed elite athletes participated in focus group interviews to shed light on these needs. A thematic analysis of these focus groups revealed six psychological and social needs: acceptance, normality, confidence, self-efficacy, trust in relationships, and social support. These themes are framed within concussion literature to help initiate a conversation on how psychological and social needs should be addressed as part of multifaceted efforts to improve concussion recovery.

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Qualitative Research in Sport Psychology Journals: The Next Decade 2000-2009 and Beyond

Diane M. Culver, Wade Gilbert, and Andrew Sparkes

A follow-up of the 1990s review of qualitative research articles published in three North American sport psychology journals (Culver, Gilbert, & Trudel, 2003) was conducted for the years 2000–2009. Of the 1,324 articles published, 631 were data-based and 183 of these used qualitative data collection techniques; an increase from 17.3% for the 1990s to 29.0% for this last decade. Of these, 31.1% employed mixed methods compared with 38.1% in the 1990s. Interviews were used in 143 of the 183 qualitative studies and reliability test reporting increased from 45.2% to 82.2%. Authors using exclusively quotations to present their results doubled from 17.9% to 39.9%. Only 13.7% of the authors took an epistemological stance, while 26.2% stated their methodological approach. We conclude that positivist/postpositivist approaches appear to maintain a predominant position in sport psychology research. Awareness of the importance of being clear about epistemology and methodology should be a goal for all researchers.

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Exploring a Women-Only Training Program for Coach Developers

Erin Kraft, Diane M. Culver, and Cari Din

The following practice paper introduces an innovative women-only training program for coach developers in a Canadian provincial sport organization. The dearth of women in coaching and sport leadership positions informs the program as a whole and the participant perspectives on what is working, in practice, for them specifically in a way that could support future sport leaders interested in increasing gender equity in their sport organizations and leadership skills in their female leaders. The aims of the coach developer program are two-fold: to promote women in leadership and to create a social learning space for women to connect and support each other in their leadership development. The purpose of this practice paper is to discuss the supports that have enabled the facilitation of this program and to explore the value of a women-only training program. Two women (out of a total of 10) participating in the program and two leads facilitating the program were interviewed for their perspectives. The lessons learned touch on the types of value that were created (immediate, potential, and applied) and the specific supports (micro, meso, and macro) that enabled the facilitation of the program. Finally, the authors discuss additional considerations (e.g., consistent buy-in from the organization is needed) with practical insights in the hopes of inspiring other sport organizations to implement similar initiatives for promoting women in leadership and coaching in sport.

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A Decade of Qualitative Research in Sport Psychology Journals: 1990-1999

Diane M. Culver, Wade D. Gilbert, and Pierre Trudel

Part of the on-going dialogue on qualitative research in sport and exercise psychology, this review portrays the qualitative articles published in three sport psychology journals and examines how qualitative research can deepen our knowledge in applied sport psychology. Eighty-four of the 485 research articles published in these journals used a qualitative data collection technique. The interview was used in 67 studies. Peer review and reliability tests were often used for establishing trustworthiness. Member checking was mostly limited to participant verification of interview transcripts. Results were usually presented using both words and numbers. Selected studies are discussed in relation to applied sport psychology knowledge. Published qualitative articles suggest a conservative effort by sport psychology researchers to include the qualitative approach as a legitimate way to do research.

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The Alberta Women in Sport Leadership Project: A Social Learning Intervention for Gender Equity and Leadership Development

Diane M. Culver, Erin Kraft, Cari Din, and Isabelle Cayer

This best practice paper describes a Canadian intervention to address the lack of women in sport coaching and leadership roles. While the number of female athletes has increased over the last decades, the opposite is true of female head coaches, both nationally and internationally. The issues influencing this trend are mostly institutional and societal. There is a lack of support systems in place for females attempting to become involved (recruitment) and maintain their involvement (retention) in coaching. The Alberta Women in Sport Leadership Impact Program (AWiSL) takes a community of practice approach to increase gender equity and leadership diversity in Alberta sport organizations. The AWiSL began in October 2017 and continues until early 2020. There are currently 6 mentors and 12 sport leaders from Alberta sport organizations, who engage in monthly meetings to learn and participate in the co-creation of knowledge to meet the project outcomes, which include the planning and implementation of initiatives for their individual sport organizations, all in the service of supporting gender equity. Descriptions of specific activities thus far are presented as well as information about the how to of conducting such an intervention. Various challenges and lessons are discussed. The description of the AWiSL and ongoing program evaluation aims to support other organizations seeking an example of an initiative to create equitable coaching and leadership opportunities, and to create change.

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Gender Equity in Disability Sport: A Rapid Scoping Review

Diane M. Culver, Majidullah Shaikh, Danielle Alexander, and Karine Fournier

Aim: A scoping review was conducted to map the literature related to gender equity in disability sport. Design: Six databases relevant to the sport sciences were searched, yielding an initial 1,543 records; after two phases of screening and data extraction, 61 records were selected for synthesis. Descriptive statistics were generated on information related to the record contexts, approaches, and results. Qualitative descriptive analyses were used to group data inductively into themes in line with addressing the research question. Results: Most records examined the experiences, participation, and representation of adults in elite contexts. Insights across records pointed to gender inequities in participation and experience, often influenced by the intersection of ableist and masculinity notions. Limited research also pointed to strategies that can contribute to advancing gender equity. Conclusions: Implications were discussed to advance understandings of disability sport and enhance participation across levels (e.g., coaching, athletic) and contexts (e.g., elite/Paralympic, recreational).