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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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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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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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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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Britton W. Brewer, Tina M. Manos, Anne V. McDevitt, Allen E. Cornelius and Judy L. Van Raalte

Two studies tested the hypothesis that exertional trend influences perceived aversiveness of an exercise bout. In Study 1, participants (64 women and 26 men) read descriptions of 8 fictitious people’s ratings of perceived exertion during exercise sessions on a stationary bicycle, including a 15-min session with a pattern of increasing exertion and a 20-min session with a pattern of exertion identical to the 15-min session with the addition of a 5-min period of reduced exertion at the end. Despite a greater overall workload, the 20-min session was perceived as significantly less aversive than the 15-min session. In Study 2, participants (11 women and 9 men) completed 15- and 20-min sessions on a cycle ergometer with the same basic exertional patterns as in Study 1. Ratings of the aversiveness of the 2 sessions did not differ significantly, despite the difference in duration. Results demonstrate that adding a period of reduced exertion attenuates the perceived aversiveness of a bout of exercise.

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Britton W. Brewer, Christine L. Buntrock, Nancy S. Diehl and Judy L. Van Raalte

Poster sessions have become a standard feature at sport psychology conferences. Although these sessions are intended to facilitate interaction between presenters and audience members, recent research suggests that the exchange of information in poster sessions is less than optimal (Rienzi & Allen, 1994). This study examined the extent to which authors of poster presentations at a sport psychology conference mailed handouts or manuscripts containing details of their presentations to interested colleagues. Results indicated that authors of only 39% of the posters responded to the requests for written information, and some of those responses were not timely. By failing to provide handouts or manuscripts to interested individuals, poster presenters may impede scientific and applied progress. Presenters are encouraged to honor their ethical and professional obligations to disseminate information on their work to the sport psychology community.

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Trent A. Petrie, Karen D. Cogan, Judy L. Van Raalte and Britton W. Brewer

An investigation was conducted to examine the possibility of gender bias in the evaluation of sport psychology consultants. AAASP members were sent a packet that included a description of a football player who wanted to work with a sport psychology consultant to improve his consistency, a vita of a fictitious sport psychology consultant, and a rating questionnaire. The packets differed only in regard to the gender of the fictitious sport psychology consultant, which served as the independent variable, with half the sample being assigned to the male condition and the other half to the female condition. Participants (N = 293) evaluated the sport psychology consultant on several dimensions and indicated how strongly they would recommend the consultant to the football player. Results indicated that participants generally evaluated the fictitious sport psychology consultant similarly, regardless of gender. Indeed, the only gender differences that emerged were that the female sport psychology consultant was rated higher than the male consultant on attractiveness, trustworthiness, and general “good counselor” dimensions. Even though evidence of bias against women did not emerge in this study, the importance of promoting an atmosphere of inclusion for both male and female sport psychologists still exists.