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  • Author: Raôul R.D. Oudejans x
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Chris Englert, Kris Zwemmer, Alex Bertrams and Raôul R.D. Oudejans

In the current study we investigated whether ego depletion negatively affects attention regulation under pressure in sports by assessing participants’ dart throwing performance and accompanying gaze behavior. According to the strength model of self-control, the most important aspect of self-control is attention regulation. Because higher levels of state anxiety are associated with impaired attention regulation, we chose a mixed design with ego depletion (yes vs. no) as between-subjects and anxiety level (high vs. low) as within-subjects factor. Participants performed a perceptual-motor task requiring selective attention, namely, dart throwing. In line with our expectations, depleted participants in the high-anxiety condition performed worse and displayed a shorter final fixation on bull’s eye, demonstrating that when one’s self-control strength is depleted, attention regulation under pressure cannot be maintained. This is the first study that directly supports the general assumption that ego depletion is a major factor in influencing attention regulation under pressure.

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A.P. (Karin) de Bruin and Raôul R.D. Oudejans

The aim of the study was to investigate if and how body image, taken from a contextual perspective, contributes to the eating disorder history. This qualitative study investigated the process of eating disorder development in eight elite women athletes in at-risk sports. The results showed that the relationship between eating disorder symptomatology and the sports environment was clearly recognized by the elite women athletes. Contextual body image, more specifically negative body-evaluations and upward body comparisons, appeared as an important factor in the development of eating disorders, particularly in the athletic context. It became clear that the two aesthetic and two endurance athletes as well as the two weight-class athletes in rowing described quite negative body evaluations in the context of sport, while some of them also recognized an impact of body image experiences in daily life. However, for both judokas, their eating disorder had nothing to do with their body image but was attributed to the weight-classes in their sport and accompanying weight making. Several unique trajectories and individual eating disorder histories were distinguished which confirms the value of taking a qualitative approach in investigating eating disorders in sport. We also discovered links between what the athletes had reported as contributors to their eating disorder history and how they told their stories by combining content analysis and narrative inquiry. Furthermore, the present study also highlights several critical aspects for prevention and treatment that should support sport federations and clinical sport psychologists in taking appropriate actions to deal more effectively with eating disorders in athletes.

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Arne Nieuwenhuys, J. Rob Pijpers, Raôul R.D. Oudejans and Frank C. Bakker

The object of the current study was to investigate anxiety-induced changes in movement and gaze behavior in novices on a climbing wall. Identical traverses were situated at high and low levels on a climbing wall to manipulate anxiety. In line with earlier studies, climbing times and movement times increased under anxiety. These changes were accompanied by similar changes in total and average fixation duration and the number of fixations, which were primarily aimed at the holds used for climbing. In combination with these findings, a decrease in search rate provided evidence for a decrease in processing efficiency as anxiety increased.