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Defining and Measuring Character in Sport From a Multidimensional Perspective

Mariya A. Yukhymenko-Lescroart

This paper extends the discussion by Shigeno and colleagues (2019, The Coach’s Role in Creating Moral Group Norms in Youth Sports. International Sport Coaching Journal), who emphasized the importance of coaches’ understanding of athletes’ character and of teaching character in sport. The purpose of the present paper is to (a) provide a discussion of how character in sport can be defined and conceptualized from a multidimensional perspective and (b) to present a valid and practical tool for measuring multidimensional character in sport. The instrument can be used by coaches to assess athletes’ character in order to help them develop core values and standards of acceptable behaviors as well as ethical and morally responsible behaviors on and off the field. Further considerations and future directions related to examining athletes’ character in sports are discussed.

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The Relationship Between Gratitude and Religious Identification of NCAA Athletes: A Replication Study

Nicole T. Gabana, Jeffrey B. Ruser, Mariya A. Yukhymenko-Lescroart, and Jenelle N. Gilbert

A holistic, multicultural approach to student-athlete mental health, well-being, and performance promotes the consideration of spiritual and religious identities in counseling and consultation. Preliminary research supports the interconnectedness of spirituality, religiosity, and gratitude in athletes; thus, this study sought to replicate Gabana, D’Addario, Luzzeri, and Soendergaard's study (2020) and extend the literature by examining a larger, independently sampled, more diverse data set and multiple types of gratitude. National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I–III student-athletes (N = 596) were surveyed to better understand how religious and spiritual identity related to trait, general-state, and sport-state gratitude. Results supported past research; athletes who self-identified as being both spiritual and religious reported greater dispositional (trait) gratitude than those who self-identified as spiritual/nonreligious or nonspiritual/nonreligious. Between group differences were not found when comparing general-state and sport-state gratitude. Findings strengthen and extend the understanding of spirituality, religion, and gratitude in sport. Limitations, practical implications, and future directions are discussed.

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Gratitude, Coach–Athlete Relationships, and Burnout in Collegiate Student-Athletes

Jeffrey B. Ruser, Mariya A. Yukhymenko-Lescroart, Jenelle N. Gilbert, Wade Gilbert, and Stephanie D. Moore

This study investigated whether gratitude predicted burnout directly and indirectly through coach–athlete relationships. National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Divisions I (n = 305), II (n = 202), and III (n = 89) student-athletes (N = 596, 76.5% women) completed a survey regarding athlete burnout, coach–athlete relationships, trait gratitude, and state gratitude (sport and general). Structural equation modeling revealed that gratitude predicted athletes’ burnout. Sport state gratitude was the most accurate negative predictor of burnout. In addition, indirect associations between sport state gratitude and burnout emerged through coach–athlete relationships, suggesting that sport state gratitude was positively associated with coach–athlete relationships, which in turn, negatively predicted burnout. Coach–athlete relationships were positively predicted by sport state gratitude. These findings suggest that grateful student-athletes may experience less burnout, and athletes who have strong coach–athlete relationships may experience more gratitude.