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Jennifer L. Kentel and Tara-Leigh F. McHugh

Bullying among youth is rampant and research suggests that young Aboriginal women may be particularly susceptible to bullying.Sport participation has been identified as a possible mechanism to prevent bullying behaviors, yet few researchers have explored bullying within the context of sport. The purpose of this qualitative description study was to explore young Aboriginal women’s experiences of bullying in team sports. Eight young Aboriginal women participated in one-on-one semistructured interviews and follow-up phone interviews.Data were analyzed using a content analysis, and findings were represented by five themes: (1) mean mugging, (2) sport specific, (3) happens all the time, (4) team bonding to address bullying, and (5) prevention through active coaches. The detailed descriptions shared by participants provide insight into a broad range of bullying experiences and serve as a foundation for addressing the bullying that occurs in sport.

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Ariel J. Dimler, Kimberley McFadden, and Tara-Leigh F. McHugh

The purpose of this research was to describe and interpret the positive body image experiences of women actively engaged in pole fitness. A total of seven women between the ages of 20 and 36 years participated in semistructured one-on-one interviews and follow-up interviews. Participant observation was also used to generate data. Data were analyzed using an interpretative phenomenological analysis approach, and the positive body image experiences of women are represented by five themes: (a) observation and exposure fostering body acceptance, (b) performance promoting self-confidence, (c) personal growth and sexual expression, (d) unconditional community support creates comfort, and (e) body appreciation through physical skill development. Findings suggest that women engaging in pole fitness may experience positive body image, and the words of participants provide insight into the components of pole fitness that may foster positive body image. Pole fitness may provide a unique exercise context whereby women can develop and maintain positive body image.

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Kacey C. Neely, John G.H. Dunn, Tara-Leigh F. McHugh, and Nicholas L. Holt

The purpose of this study was to explore female athletes’ experiences of positive growth following deselection from provincial sport teams. Interviews were conducted with 18 women (Mage = 22.45 years, SD = 1.38) who were deselected from provincial soccer, ice hockey, and volleyball teams as adolescents. Interpretative phenomenological analysis methodology was used. The analysis was guided by Tedeschi and Calhoun’s model of posttraumatic growth. Results showed that participants questioned their identity and ability as athletes following deselection. Growth was a gradual process that unfolded over several years, experienced through a greater appreciation of the role of sport in the participants’ lives and sport becoming a priority, an enhanced sense of personal strength, developing closer social relationships, and a recognition of new and other opportunities. These findings show that cognitive processes and social relationships are critical components in the process of positive growth.

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Heather K. Larson, Bradley W. Young, Tara-Leigh F. McHugh, and Wendy M. Rodgers

Empirical evidence directly associating early sport specialization with burnout and dropout is lacking, although a relationship is theorized. Research in this area relies on time-intensive retrospective interviews or questionnaires that generate large amounts of data. The optimal use of these data for assessing early specialization (ES) and its relationship with key criterion variables is unclear. The purpose of this study was to add empirical evidence to the literature regarding ES, burnout, and dropout. This involved examining a large number of hypothesized markers of ES and reducing them to a smaller set useful for predicting burnout and dropout. Survey data were collected from 137 swimmers, age 12–13 years, and their parents, including descriptions of swimmers’ sport backgrounds from age 6 until present. Contrary to what was expected, the ES items were not positively related to burnout and dropout. The authors present several possible explanations, including key motivational considerations.

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Kacey C. Neely, John G.H. Dunn, Tara-Leigh F. McHugh, and Nicholas L. Holt

The overall purpose of this study was to examine coaches’ views on deselecting athletes from competitive female adolescent sport teams. Individual semistructured interviews were conducted with 22 head coaches of Canadian provincial level soccer, basketball, volleyball, and ice hockey teams. Interpretive description methodology (Thorne, 2008) was used. Results revealed deselection was a process that involved four phases: pre-tryout meeting, evaluation and decision-making, communication of deselection, and post deselection reflections. Within the evaluation and decision-making phase coaches made programmed and nonprogrammed decisions under conditions of certainty and uncertainty. When faced with uncertainty coaches relied on intuition.