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Britton W. Brewer

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Britton W. Brewer and Robert Shillinglaw

This study evaluated the effects of a four-session psychological skills training (PST) workshop on self-reported knowledge, perceived importance, and use of goal setting, relaxation, imagery, and cognitive restructuring in a sample of male intercollegiate lacrosse players (n=49). In an interrupted time-series design with switching replications, subjects were randomly assigned to one of two groups. Self-report data were collected on three occasions at 2-week intervals. Group 1 received PST during the first 2-week interval and Group 2 received PST during the second 2-week interval. The overall effectiveness of the PST workshop was supported by both between-subjects and within-subjects analyses. This study illustrates that controlled research can viably and ethically be conducted in applied sport settings. Limitations of the current study and directions for future PST outcome research are discussed.

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Tomasz Tasiemski and Britton W. Brewer

This study examined interrelationships among athletic identity, sport participation, and psychological adjustment in a sample of people with spinal cord injury (SCI). Participants (N = 1,034) completed measures of athletic identity, life satisfaction, anxiety, depression, and demographic and sport participation variables. Current amount of weekly sport participation was positively related to athletic identity when statistically controlling for age, gender, and pre-SCI amount of weekly sport participation. Being able to practice one’s favorite sport after SCI was associated with higher levels of athletic identity and better psychological adjustment. Team sport participants reported experiencing better psychological adjustment than individual sport participants did. The findings suggest that social factors are important in the link between sport participation and psychological adjustment in people with SCI.

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Mark B. Andersen, Judy L. Van Raalte and Britton W. Brewer

To assess the supervisory skills of sport psychologists who are training future practitioners, the Sport Psychology Supervisory Skills Inventory (SPSSI) was mailed to 201 potential applied sport psychology supervisors. Supervisors were associated with graduate programs that offered applied sport psychology practica and/or internships, as identified in the Directory of Graduate Programs in Applied Sport Psychology (Sachs, Burke, & Salitsky, 1992). Supervisors rated themselves on 41 supervisory skills. The SPSSI was also mailed to 416 student members of AAASP, who were asked to rate their supervisors. There was a 35% return rate from supervisors and a 45% return rate from students. The findings suggest that supervised experience with athletes is limited for both supervisors and graduate students.

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Geraldine M. Murphy, Albert J. Petitpas and Britton W. Brewer

A study was conducted with 124 intercollegiate student-athletes at an NCAA Division I institution to examine the relationship between self-identity variables (i.e., identity foreclosure and athletic identity) and career maturity. Results indicated that both identity foreclosure and athletic identity were inversely related to career maturity. Significant effects of gender, playing status (varsity vs. nonvarsity), and sport (revenue producing vs. nonrevenue producing) on career maturity were observed. The findings suggest that failure to explore alternative roles and identifying strongly and exclusively with the athlete role are associated with delayed career development in intercollegiate student athletes, and that male varsity student-athletes in revenue-producing sports may be especially at risk for impaired acquisition of career decision-making skills. The results underscore the importance of understanding athletic identity issues and exercising caution in challenging sport-related occupational aspirations in presenting career development interventions to student-athletes.

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Annamari Maaranen, Judy L. Van Raalte and Britton W. Brewer

Flikikammo is a troubling phenomenon in which athletes lose the ability to perform previously automatic backward moving gymnastics skills as a normal part of a routine. To better understand the effects of flikikammo over time, the confidence, perceived pressure, physical well-being, energy, and stress levels of gymnasts (n = 6) and cheerleaders (n = 4) were assessed weekly over 10 weeks. Half of the participants reported experiencing flikikammo at the start of the study, and half served as age, skill level, and sport-matched controls. Athletes with flikikammo indicated that pressure from coaches and higher energy levels were related to more severe flikikammo. For participants under the age of 18, higher levels of life stress positively correlated with flikikammo, but for those over 18, higher life stress was negatively correlated with flikikammo. These findings highlight the complexity of flikikammo and suggest that complex solutions may be needed to address flikikammo issues.

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Judy L. Van Raalte, Britton W. Brewer, Devon D. Brewer and Darwyn E. Linder

Study 1 was conducted to explore athletes' perceptions of an athlete who consults a sport psychologist. Football players from two NCAA Division II colleges, one with and one without athletic counseling/sport psychology services, were asked to indicate how strongly they would recommend drafting a quarterback who had worked with his coaches, a sport psychologist, or a psychotherapist to improve his performance. Results indicated that in neither college did athletes derogate other athletes who were said to have consulted sport psychologists. Study 2 was conducted to examine athletes' perceptions of various sport and mental health professionals. Similarity judgments of the practitioners were analyzed using correspondence analysis, and rankings of the practitioners on three dimensions (expertise in sport-related, mental, and physical issues) were analyzed using cultural consensus analysis. Consistent with past research, these three variables were salient factors in subjects' similarity judgments of the practitioners.

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Judy L. Van Raalte, Ruth Brennan Morrey, Allen E. Cornelius and Britton W. Brewer

Much of the research on self-talk in sport has focused on the effects of assigned self-talk (e.g., instructional self-talk, motivational self-talk) on the performance of laboratory tasks and/or tasks of short duration (Hatzigeorgiadis, Zourbanos, Galanis, & Theodorakis, 2011; Tod, Hardy, & Oliver, 2011). The purpose of this study was to explore more fully the self-talk of athletes involved in competition over an extended period of time. Marathon runners (N = 483) were surveyed. The majority (88%) of runners, those who indicated that they use self-talk during marathons, completed open-ended items describing their self-talk while competing. Runners reported using a rich variety of motivational self-talk as well as spiritual self-talk and mantras, types of self-talk less widely studied in the literature. Given the findings of this research, future studies exploring self-talk use during competition in sporting events of long duration seems warranted.

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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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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.