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Philip Sullivan and Laura Tennant

Intercollegiate student-athletes appear to be a high-risk population with respect to mental health. Student athletic therapists are one of the groups with whom these athletes may be comfortable disclosing concerns. The current study investigated the relationship between mental health literacy and mental health referral efficacy in a sample of intercollegiate student therapists. One hundred and eleven student athletic therapists (81 female, 29 male, 1 nondiscloure) competed a revised version of the multicomponent mental health literacy measure and a four-item measure of mental health referral efficacy. T tests revealed statistically significant differences in mental health literacy by gender and personal history, and a multiple linear regression revealed a significant model predicting referral efficacy from mental health literacy. There are several implications of these results, particularly when working with a high-risk population of student-athletes.

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Kyle J. Paquette and Philip Sullivan

Multiple conceptual frameworks support the link between coaches’ attitudes and behaviors, and their effect on a variety of athlete outcomes, such as performance, motivation, and athlete self-perceptions. The present study explored the relationships among coaches’ attitudes and behaviors, with respect to psychological skills training (PST), and the beliefs of their athletes. One hundred and fifteen coaches completed PST attitude (SPA-RC-revised) and behavior measures, while 403 athletes completed two perception measures (CCS and SCI). Structural Equation Modeling showed that the proposed relationships were statistically significant, except for the pathway between coaches’ attitudes and their behaviors. Results support the disconnect between coaches’ attitudes and behaviors previously established in PST research, as well as the theoretical links between coaches’ behaviors and athletes’ perceptions (i.e., evaluation of their coach and self-confidence).

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Jessica Murphy, Christopher Gladney, and Philip Sullivan

Student athletes balance academic, social, and athletic demands, often leading to increased levels of stress and poor sleep. This study explores the relationship between sleep quality, sleep hygiene, and psychological distress in a sample of student athletes. Ninety-four student athletes completed the six-item Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K6), Sleep Hygiene Practice Scale, and four components from the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. Age, gender, and sport were also collected. The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index revealed that 44.7% of student athletes received ≥6.5 hr of sleep each night; 31% of athletes showed signs of severe mental illness according to the K6. Stepwise regression predicted K6 scores with the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and the Sleep Hygiene Practice Scale scores as independent variables. A significant model accounting for 26% of the variation in K6 scores emerged; sleep schedule and sleep disturbances were significant predictors. Athletic staff should highlight the importance of sleep for mental health; suggestions on how to help athletes are provided.

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Ken R. Lodewyk, Kimberley L. Gammage, and Philip J. Sullivan

Increasing dropout rates in senior high school physical education, particularly among females, and unhealthy activity and obesity levels in youth have led to recommendations to assess potential contributing factors in physical education participation. Drawing from gender, body image, and social-cognitive theory, this study investigated relations between body size discrepancy, self-efficacy, test anxiety, and achievement in 316 high school physical education students. Gender differences were noted in body size discrepancy (females reported the desire to have a smaller body). Specifically in females, body size discrepancy predicted test anxiety, which predicted self-efficacy. Self-efficacy predicted achievement in both males and females. The results signal that gender-specific relations among these constructs are important factors to consider in the achievement scores of students in high school physical education. Physical education programs should model curricula and instructional practices that defuse potentially harmful body image discrepancies that seem most poignant in females while engaging all learners to feel competent and safe.

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Jessica Murphy, Karen A. Patte, Philip Sullivan, and Scott T. Leatherdale

The mental health benefits of physical activity may relate more to the context of the behavior, rather than the behavior of being active itself. The association between varsity sport (VS) participation, depression, and anxiety symptoms was explored using data from 70,449 high school students from the Cannabis use, Obesity, Mental health, Physical activity, Alcohol use, Smoking, and Sedentary behavior study. The model adjusted for potential covariates; interactions by sex and participation in outside of school sport (OSS) were explored. Overall, 70% and 24% of respondents met or exceeded cutoff values for depression and anxiety, respectively. Students participating in VS had lower symptoms of anxiety and depression compared with nonparticipants. Results were consistent regardless of OSS participation; associations were strongest among students who participated in both VS and OSS and males. Participation in VS may prove beneficial for the prevention and/or management of depression or anxiety symptoms, particularly among males. An additive beneficial effect of OSS on depression and anxiety scores may exist.

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Nicholas D. Myers, Sung Eun Park, Soyeon Ahn, Seungmin Lee, Philip J. Sullivan, and Deborah L. Feltz

Coaching efficacy refers to the extent to which a coach believes that he or she has the capacity to affect the learning and performance of his or her athletes. The purpose of the current study was to empirically synthesize findings across the extant literature to estimate relationships between the proposed sources of coaching efficacy and each of the dimensions of coaching efficacy. A literature search yielded 20 studies and 278 effect size estimates that met the inclusion criteria. The overall relationship between the proposed sources of coaching efficacy and each dimension of coaching efficacy was positive and ranged from small to medium in size. Coach gender and level coached moderated the overall relationship between the proposed sources of coaching efficacy and each of the dimensions of coaching efficacy. Results from this meta-analysis provided some evidence for both the utility of, and possible revisions to, the conceptual model of coaching efficacy.

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Rodney C. Wilson, Philip J. Sullivan, Nicholas D. Myers, and Deborah L. Feltz

This study examined sources of sport confidence and their relationship to trait sport confidence with master athletes. The study employed 216 athletes from 50 to 96 years of age in track and field, tennis, and swimming, using the Sources of Sport Confidence Questionnaire (SSCQ; Vealey, Hayashi, Garner-Holman, & Giacobbi, 1998). Confirmatory factor analysis failed to replicate the proposed 9-factor structure of the SSCQ. Exploratory factor analyses revealed an 8-factor structure with similar factors to the SSCQ, but with fewer items and the elimination of the situational favorableness factor. Physical/mental preparation and mastery were the highest ranked sources among the athletes. A simultaneous multiple regression analysis indicated that physical/mental preparation and demonstration of ability were significant predictors of trait sport confidence for master athletes. Our findings suggest that the SSCQ needs more psychometric work if it is to be used with this type of population.

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Philip Sullivan, Kyle J. Paquette, Nicholas L. Holt, and Gordon A. Bloom

This research was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

The purposes of this study were to examine how coaching context and level of coaching education were related to coaching efficacy and, subsequently, how coaching efficacy was related to perceived leadership behaviors in youth sports. One hundred and seventy-two youth sport coaches completed the Coaching Efficacy Scale and Revised Leadership Scale for Sports. Structural equation modeling revealed that coach education significantly affected the multidimensional construct of coaching efficacy whereas coaching context did not. Coaching efficacy predicted perceived leadership behaviors comprising training and instruction, positive feedback, social support, and situational consideration. These findings question the issue of coaching efficacy as a factor that may distinguish between coaches at different organizational contexts but highlight the importance of coach education training for improving coaching efficacy in youth sport.

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Richard Johnston, Roisin Cahalan, Laura Bonnett, Matthew Maguire, Alan Nevill, Philip Glasgow, Kieran O’Sullivan, and Thomas Comyns

Purpose: To determine the association between training-load (TL) factors, baseline characteristics, and new injury and/or pain (IP) risk in an endurance sporting population (ESP). Methods: Ninety-five ESP participants from running, triathlon, swimming, cycling, and rowing disciplines initially completed a questionnaire capturing baseline characteristics. TL and IP data were submitted weekly over a 52-wk study period. Cumulative TL factors, acute:chronic workload ratios, and exponentially weighted moving averages were calculated. A shared frailty model was used to explore time to new IP and association to TL factors and baseline characteristics. Results: 92.6% of the ESP completed all 52 wk of TL and IP data. The following factors were associated with the lowest risk of a new IP episode: (a) a low to moderate 7-d lag exponentially weighted moving averages (0.8–1.3: hazard ratio [HR] = 1.21; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.01–1.44; P = .04); (b) a low to moderate 7-d lag weekly TL (1200–1700 AU: HR = 1.38; 95% CI, 1.15–1.65; P < .001); (c) a moderate to high 14-d lag 4-weekly cumulative TL (5200–8000 AU: HR = 0.33; 95% CI, 0.21–0.50; P < .001); and (d) a low number of previous IP episodes in the preceding 12 mo (1 previous IP episode: HR = 1.11; 95% CI, 1.04–1.17; P = .04). Conclusions: To minimize new IP risk, an ESP should avoid high spikes in acute TL while maintaining moderate to high chronic TLs. A history of previous IP should be considered when prescribing TLs. The demonstration of a lag between a TL factor and its impact on new IP risk may have important implications for future ESP TL analysis.