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Ralph Maddison and Harry Prapavessis

There were three aims to the present study: (a) to test a social cognitive model based on self-efficacy and intention in predicting compliance to exercise in a Phase 2 cardiac rehabilitation (CR) program; (b) to examine temporal patterns of self-efficacy in an 18-week exercise CR program; and (c) to ascertain whether the social-cognitive variables act more as determinant or consequence of exercise behavior during the program. Forty-one participants (29 M, 12 F; mean age 63 ± 9 .81 yrs) with documented ischemic heart disease enrolled in an 18-week supervised walking-based Phase 2 CR exercise program. They completed scales assessing self-efficacy and intention at the beginning of the program (Time 1) and again at Weeks 7 (Time 2) and 13 (Time 3). Compliance behavior was assessed through daily attendance and exercise energy expenditure measures, via metabolic equivalents (ACSM Guidelines, 1995). Data provide general support for the social cognitive model. That is, positive and meaningful relationships were found among self-efficacy, intention, and objectively measured exercise behavior, explaining 16 to 59% of the variance. Results also showed that both task and barrier efficacy significantly improved during the early part of the exercise program and then leveled off during program termination. Finally, results suggest that social-cognitive variables act more as a determinant than a consequence of exercise behavior. The findings underscore the need for scale congruence between the measures of self-efficacy, intention, and objective measures of exercise behavior.

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Ralph Maddison and Harry Prapavessis

Two interrelated studies examined the role psychological factors play in the prediction and prevention of sport related injury. Study 1 involved 470 rugby players who completed measures corresponding to variables in the revised Williams and Andersen (1998) stress and injury model at the beginning of the 2001 playing season. Prospective and objective data were obtained for both the number of injuries and the time missed. Results showed that social support, the type of coping, and previous injury interacted in a conjunctive fashion to maximize the relationship between life stress and injury. Study 2 examined the effectiveness of a cognitive behavioral stress management (CBSM) intervention in reducing injury among athletes from Study 1 who were identified as having an at-risk psychological profile for injury. Forty-eight players were randomly assigned to either a CBSM intervention or a no-contact control condition. Participants completed psychological measures of coping and competitive anxiety at the beginning and end of the 2002 rugby season. The assessment of injury was identical to that used in Study 1. Results showed that those in the intervention condition reported missing less time due to injury compared to their nonintervention counterparts. The intervention group also had an increase in coping resources and a decrease in worry following the program. Taken together, both studies underscore the importance of (a) psychosocial factors in identifying those athletes most vulnerable to injury and (b) cognitive behavioral stress management programs in reducing the vulnerability to injury.

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Ralph Maddison and Harry Prapavessis

The purpose of this study was to examine whether variables in the Transtheoretical Model (TTM) acted more as predictors than as consequences of exercise behavior (stage of change). Students from 13 New Zealand high schools (N = 1,434) completed questionnaires corresponding to variables in the TTM (i.e., stage of exercise change, processes of change, self-efficacy, and decisional balance) at two time periods separated by 6 months. Reciprocal relationships were found between exercise behavior and the TTM variables. The TTM might be a useful framework for understanding longitudinal exercise behavior in the adolescent population.

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J. Robert Grove and Harry Prapavessis

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Harry Prapavessis and J. Robert Grove

This study tested the utility of Morgan’s (1980) Mental Health Model and Hanin’s (1980) Zone of Optimal Function Model in an ecologically valid environment. A sample of 12 high-performance adult clay-target shooters were tested over an entire competitive season. Precompetitive mood states were assessed using Schacham’s (1983) short version of the Profile of Mood States (POMS; McNair, Lorr, & Droppleman, 1971). Results revealed partial support for Hanin’s model but no support for Morgan’s model. Discussion focuses on the importance of multiple assessments of precompetitive emotions, recognition of individual differences, and selection of a precise measure of sport performance.

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Harry Prapavessis and Albert V. Carron

One purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between cohesion and competitive state anxiety (A-state). If a cohesion-competition A-state relationship was obtained, the second purpose was to determine whether the perceived psychological benefits and/or psychological costs of cohesiveness mediate that relationship. In order to examine these issues, a sample of interactive sport-team athletes (N = 110) completed the Group Environment Questionnaire (GEQ; Carron, Widmeyer, & Brawley, 1985) and items related to the perceived psychological benefits and costs of membership in cohesive groups. In addition, athletes completed the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory–2 (CSAI-2; Martens, Burton, Vealey, Bump, & Smith, 1990) prior to competition. Results showed that cohesion was related to A-state responses (p < .004). Specifically, individuals holding higher perceptions of task cohesion reported less cognitive A-state. Results also showed that psychological costs associated with membership on cohesive teams mediates the cohesion–A-state relationship.

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Harry Prapavessis and Albert V. Carron

One purpose of the present investigation was to examine whether tennis athletes have maladaptive achievement patterns associated with learned helplessness, and whether this condition is related to gender and/or skill level. A second purpose was to determine if there is a relationship between maladaptive achievement patterns and the attributional styles used in failure performances. A sport-specific questionnaire based upon the research of Dweck and others was designed to assess the cognitive, motivational, and emotional maladaptive achievement patterns in male and female highly skilled and lesser skilled athletes enrolled in a tennis academy (N=50). Another sport-specific questionnaire based on Abramson’s attributional model was used to measure each athlete’s attributional style (i.e., locus of control, stability, globality, and importance). Results revealed that 11 subjects demonstrated maladaptive achievement patterns associated with learned helplessness. No gender or skill level differences were present. Subjects classified as helpless had a different attribution dimension style for explaining failure performances than did subjects classified as nonhelpless. Specifically, helpless subjects gave ratings that were internal, persistent, and recurrent. The results were discussed in terms of their practical implications.

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Anca Gaston, Anita Grace Cramp and Harry Prapavessis

Little is known about how women who exercise during pregnancy are perceived. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the positive exercise stereotype (i.e., the general tendency for exercisers to be evaluated more positively than nonexercisers) extends to pregnancy. Adult women (N = 202, mean age = 38.55 years, SD = 13.46) were randomly assigned to read a description of one of the following pregnant female targets: regular exerciser, active living, excessive exerciser, nonexerciser, or control. Participants then rated the target on 12 personality and 8 physical dimensions. MANOVAs revealed a significant main effect for both physical and personality attributes (p < .05). The regular exerciser and active living target received the most positive ratings on both physical and personality dimensions. Whereas the excessive exerciser received high ratings on most physical characteristics, this target was also perceived as meaner and sadder, and having fewer friends than all other targets.

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Erin McGowan, Harry Prapavessis and Natascha Wesch

The purpose of this study was to improve understanding of the link between self-presentational concerns and competitive anxiety. Specifically, we examined (a) associations among self-presentational concerns and competitive state anxiety dimensional symptom responses using the modified Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 (CSAI-2; Martens, Vealey, & Burton, 1990) and (b) whether self-presentational concerns mediate trait–state anxiety relationships. In addressing these matters, we also examined the factor structure and composition of the Self-Presentation in Sport Questionnaire (SPSQ; Wilson & Eklund, 1998). Results showed that self-presentational concerns were positively associated with intensity and frequency dimensional symptoms and negatively associated with direction symptoms. Results also showed that self-presentational concerns demonstrated consistently higher associations with the cognitive component and the intensity symptom of the CSAI-2 state measures. Results showed no support for the notion that self-presentational concerns mediate the trait–state anxiety relationship. When examining the factor structure and composition of the SPSQ, the results from two independent athlete samples support the tenability of an abbreviated 21-item four-factor model. Thus the newly constituted scale is recommended for measuring self-presentational concerns in sport.

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Albert V. Carron, Harry Prapavessis and J. Robert Grove

The purpose of this investigation was to examine the relationship of group cohesion to self-handicapping. The first issue focused on the relationship between the personality trait of self-handicapping and perceptions of group cohesion. A significant negative relationship (p < .001) was found between individual differences in the self-handicapping trait of making excuses and perceptions of the group's task cohesiveness. The second issue focused on whether group cohesion serves to moderate the relationship between the trait of self-handicapping and the use of self-handicapping strategies. The results showed that social cohesion was a significant (p < .006) moderator between the tendency to make excuses and the use of self-handicapping strategies. When social cohesion was high, the tendency to make excuses was positively related to the degree to which impediments to preparation for competition were perceived to be present.