A pragmatic research philosophy is introduced that embraces mixed-method approaches to applied research questions. With its origins in the work of Peirce (1984), James (1907), Dewey (1931), and contemporary support from Rorty (1982, 1990,1991), pragmatism emphasizes the practical problems experienced by people, the research questions posited, and the consequences of inquiry. As a way to highlight applications of pragmatism in sport psychology, pragmatism is compared to constructivism and positivism in terms of philosophical underpinnings and methodological applications. The pragmatic researcher is sensitive to the social, historical, and political context from which inquiry begins and considers morality, ethics, and issues of social justice to be important throughout the research process. Pragmatists often use pluralistic methods during multiphase research projects. Exemplar design types are discussed that logically cohere to a pragmatic research philosophy.
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Peter R. Giacobbi Jr., Artur Poczwardowski, and Peter Hager
Peter R. Giacobbi Jr.
Column-editor : Thomas W. Kaminski
Taryn K. Morgan and Peter R. Giacobbi Jr.
The purpose of this study was to utilize multiple perspectives to describe the major influences and experiences during the development of highly talented collegiate athletes. Eight NCAA Division I collegiate athletes, 12 parents, and 6 coaches participated in this study. In-depth semi-structured interviews analyzed through grounded theory analytic procedures (Strauss & Corbin, 1998) were used. Overall, it was ascertained that a favorable interaction between perceived genetic dispositions, practice, situational factors, and mental characteristics facilitated and nurtured the participants’ talent development. The importance of social support for overcoming adversity was a salient theme and should be addressed by sport psychology consultants and coaches.
Peter R. Giacobbi Jr. and Robert S. Weinberg
The purposes of the present investigation were to examine the coping responses of different subgroups of athletes (e.g., high and low trait anxious athletes), and to assess the consistency of athlete’s coping behaviors across situations. Two-hundred and seventy-three athletes completed the Sport Anxiety Scale (SAS) by Smith, Smoll, & Schutz (1990) and coping assessments in trait and state versions of the sport adapted COPE (MCOPE) by Crocker and Graham (1995). The state coping measures assessed coping responses of situations for which the athletes actually experienced. The results of three separate, doubly multivariate, repeated measures, MANOVA’s showed that high trait anxious athletes responded to stressful situations using different coping behaviors (e.g., denial, wishful thinking, and self-blame) than the low trait anxious athletes. In addition, coping appears to be more stable than situationally variable as Pearson correlational coefficients computed between the three measures ranged from 0.53 to 0.80. The results are discussed with regard to theoretical, research, and applied issues.
Peter R. Giacobbi Jr., Frederick Dietrich, Rebecca Larson, and Lesley J. White
The purpose of this study was to evaluate perceptions of quality of life after a 4-month progressive resistance training program for individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS). A second purpose was to examine participants’ views about factors that facilitated or impeded exercise behavior. Qualitative interviews were conducted with eight females (Mage = 49.86, SD = 6.94) with relapsing remitting MS. Audio-tape recorded interviews were transcribed verbatim and coded. Walking performance improved (M = 13.08%, SD = 7.11). All participants perceived improvements in muscular strength and endurance while six indicated improvements in walking endurance and performance in tasks of daily living. Social benefits of participation were discussed by seven participants including interactions in the exercise environment. We concluded that supervised resistance training may promote improvements in QOL for women with relapsing remitting MS.
Peter R. Giacobbi Jr.
Column-editor : Thomas W. Kaminski
Peter R. Giacobbi Jr., Michael Stancil, Brent Hardin, and Lance Bryant
The present study examined links between physical activity and quality of life experienced by individuals with physical disabilities recruited from a wheelchair user’s basketball tournament. The participants included 12 male and 14 female adults between the ages of 18–54 (M = 31.12, SD = 10.75) who all reported one or more condition(s) that impacted their daily living. They were administered the Physical Activity Scale for Individuals with Physical Disabilities (Washburn, Weimo, McAuley, Frogley, & Figoni, 2002) and in-depth interviews focused on their physical activity experiences and evaluations about their quality of life. Grounded theory analyses (Charmaz, 2000, 2002) revealed that individuals who use wheelchairs perceived a number of psychological, social, and health benefits associated with physical activity involvement. The participants’ evaluations and descriptions of their physical activity experiences appeared to support self-efficacy beliefs, feelings of empowerment, and motivation for continued involvement. Firstperson descriptions are presented to demonstrate how and why physical activity behaviors were perceived to enhance the quality of the participants’ lives.
Robin S. Vealey, Megan Garner-Holman, Susan Walter Hayashi, and Peter Giacobbi
The purposes of this study were to identify sources of self-confidence in athletes within the sport-confidence framework of Vealey (1986, 1988), develop a reliable and valid measure of sources of sport-confidence, and extend the conceptual framework of sport-confidence to include sources and test predictions within the expanded model. In Phases 1, 2, and 3 of the study, the preliminary conceptual basis for sources of sport-confidence was developed and initial psychometric evidence supported the factor structure, reliability, and validity of the Sources of Sport-Confidence Questionnaire (SSCQ) with 335 college athletes. In Phase 4, a confirmatory factor analysis supported the hypothesized nine-factor structure of the SSCQ using 208 high school basketball players as participants. The theoretical and practical significance of certain sources of confidence in building stable and enduring self-confidence and motivation in sport are discussed based on the study results.
Krista J. Munroe, Peter R. Giacobbi Jr., Craig Hall, and Robert Weinberg
The purpose of the study was to identify and describe the four Ws of athletes’ imagery use: where, when, why, and what. Due to the in-depth nature of the questions being asked, a qualitative approach was employed. The participants were 14 elite athletes (7 male and 7 female), representing 7 different sports. A constant comparative method of analysis was conducted by two investigators. A conceptual framework was developed to display the four Ws of imagery use during and outside practice, as well as for pre-competition, competition, and post competition. Results from the present study indicated where and when athletes use imagery, and extended previous findings on why and for what athletes use imagery. It was proposed that a better understanding of the athletes’ images can serve as a guide to future research and from a practical perspective, facilitate the development of more effective imagery interventions.
Peter R. Giacobbi Jr., Taryn K. Lynn, Jaclyn M. Wetherington, Jamie Jenkins, Melissa Bodendorf, and Brad Langley
The present study explored the sources of stress and coping strategies of five female first-year university swimmers. The results of group and individual interviews revealed the major sources of stress experienced by our participants were training intensity, high performance expectations, interpersonal relationships, being away from home, and academics. The participants utilized social support, emotional release, and humor/fun as their primary coping responses during the early part of their first year. As the year progressed, cognitive coping responses such as positive reinterpretation and task focus emerged. In addition, important people in the athletic context influenced the participants’ interpretation of stress. The results shed light on the dynamic nature of the coping process and offered support for the transactional model of stress and coping (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984).