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Fostering Treatment Adherence in Athletic Therapy

Britton W. Brewer

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Athletic Identity, Sport Participation, and Psychological Adjustment in People With Spinal Cord Injury

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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Evaluation of a Psychological Skills Training Workshop for Male Intercollegiate Lacrosse Players

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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Mental Blocks in Artistic Gymnastics and Cheerleading: Longitudinal Analysis of Flikikammo

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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Self-Talk in a SCUBA Diving Context

Judy L. Van Raalte, Lorraine Wilson, Allen Cornelius, and Britton W. Brewer

Theory suggests that matching self-talk to sport demands can result in performance benefits, but the effects of self-talk in adventure-sport contexts that feature high risk (e.g., self-contained underwater breathing apparatus [SCUBA] diving) have not been studied. This research explored the effects of instructional and motivational self-talk in a high-risk adventure-sport context. Students (N = 78) enrolled in SCUBA diving courses were randomly assigned to self-talk (instructional, motivational) or control conditions; practiced self-talk and SCUBA diving skills; rated their levels of effort, confidence, and focus; and were evaluated during certification dives. Results indicated that participants gained confidence over time. The instructional-self-talk group reported being significantly more focused and confident during certification dives than the motivational-self-talk group. These results demonstrate the efficacy of matching self-talk to task demands in the high-risk context of adventure sports.

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Identity Foreclosure, Athletic Identity, and Career Maturity in Intercollegiate Athletes

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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Assessing the Skills of Sport Psychology Supervisors

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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NCAA Division II College Football Players' Perceptions of an Athlete Who Consults a Sport Psychologist

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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Counseling Goals of Athletes During Injury Rehabilitation: A Descriptive Analysis

Jacob R. Schlierf, Trevor S. Jaskiw, Britton W. Brewer, and Judy L. Van Raalte

Although goal setting is widely recommended for sport injury rehabilitation, little is known about the content of the goals set by athletes with injuries. Toward this end, a qualitative content analysis was performed on the goals and barriers to goal attainment identified by 163 intercollegiate student athletes (117 men and 46 women) participating in counseling interventions during sport injury rehabilitation. Most of the 956 goals set (84%) contained a physical element. A physical barrier was identified for 49% of the goals. Economic, cognitive, emotional, and social elements were noted as both goals and barriers. Goal content did not change significantly over the course of rehabilitation. Most goals were specific, process, short term, and positively phrased. The findings provide a detailed description of the types and qualities of counseling goals set by athletes during injury rehabilitation, offering professionals insight into the wide range of concerns expressed by athletes with injury during counseling.

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Adversarial Growth After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction

Britton W. Brewer, Allen E. Cornelius, Judy L. Van Raalte, and Howard Tennen

Although psychological research on sport injury has long focused on negative responses to injury, investigators have begun to explore positive consequences as well. This study examined adversarial growth longitudinally after anterior cruciate ligament surgery and rehabilitation. Participants (N = 108) completed questionnaires measuring (a) aspects of adversarial growth before anterior cruciate ligament surgery and at 6, 12, and 24 months after surgery and (b) daily pain and negative mood for 42 days postoperatively. Although most participants reported little or no adversarial growth due to their injury and rehabilitation, significant increases over preoperative values were found at 6 months postsurgery for three aspects of adversarial growth. Daily pain and negative mood were positively associated with aspects of adversarial growth at each postoperative assessment. It appears that modest but detectable increases in aspects of perceived adversarial growth can occur after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction and be related to indices of adversity experienced during rehabilitation.