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Cathy van Ingen

The primary aim of this article is to begin to articulate the spatiality and sociality of emotion in an action research project called Shape Your Life, a project designed to teach recreational boxing to female and transgendered survivors of violence in Toronto. In particular, the article is a theoretical and empirical examination of anger, the dominant emotional response to injustice. A case is made for a spatially engaged approach to the study of anger as a politically meaningful response to violence and social injustice in the lives of survivors. Taking the anger of survivors of violence seriously provides a spotlight on the connection between the body, social space, and emotion. The article then draws from participants’ spatialities of anger to argue that anger has deep implications for people involved in unequal power relations and that anger can be used to impel change in the lives of survivors.

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Iris Orbach, Robert Singer and Sarah Price

This study aimed to investigate the influence of an attribution training program for learners who attribute their sport performance to dysfunctional attributions. Participants were 35 college beginner tennis players who were oriented to attribute their performance in a tennis skill task to controllable, unstable factors; uncontrollable, stable factors; or no specific factors. Participants received fictitious failure feedback over 10 trial blocks administered during four sessions. Dependent variables included attributions, expectations, emotions, persistence, and performance. MANOVA analyses revealed that it is possible to modify attributions in regard to a tennis performance task. More importantly, the new attributions were consistent up to 3 weeks postintervention and were generalized to a different tennis task. In addition, participants who changed their attributions to more functional ones had higher expectations for future success and experienced positive emotions.

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Lynda M. Mainwaring, Sean M. Bisschop, Robin E.A. Green, Mark Antoniazzi, Paul Comper, Vicki Kristman, Christine Provvidenza and Doug W. Richards

Despite suggestions that emotions influence recovery from injury, there is little research into the emotional sequelae of mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI), or “concussion,” in sport. This examination compares emotional functioning of college athletes with MTBI to that of uninjured teammates and undergraduates. A short version of the Profile of Mood States (POMS; Grove & Prapavessis, 1992) assessed baseline emotions in all groups, and serial emotional functioning in the MTBI and undergraduate groups. Whereas preinjury profiles were similar across groups, the MTBI group showed a significant postinjury spike in depression, confusion, and total mood disturbance that was not seen for the other groups. The elevated mood disturbances subsided within 3 weeks postinjury. Given that concussed athletes were highly motivated to return to play, these data could be used as a benchmark of normal emotional recovery from MTBI. Findings are discussed in relation to current literature on emotional reaction to injury and directions for future research.

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Svenja A. Wolf, Mark A. Eys, Pamela Sadler and Jens Kleinert

Athletes’ precompetitive appraisal is important because it determines emotions, which may impact performance. When part of a team, athletes perform their appraisal within a social context, and in this study we examined whether perceived team cohesion, as a characteristic of this context, related to appraisal. We asked 386 male and female intercollegiate team-sport athletes to respond to measures of cohesion and precompetitive appraisal before an in-season game. For males and females, across all teams, (a) an appraisal of increased competition importance was predicted by perceptions of higher task cohesion (individual level), better previous team performance, and a weaker opponent (team level) and (b) an appraisal of more positive prospects for coping with competitive demands was predicted by higher individual attractions to the group (individual level). Consequently, athletes who perceive their team as more cohesive likely appraise the pending competition as a challenge, which would benefit both emotions and performance.

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Karin Moesch and Erwin Apitzsch

Psychological Momentum (PM) is commonly referred to in competitive sports, but still has to be considered elusive from a scientific perspective. This study explores coaches’ perception of triggers, strategies and characteristics of PM in female elite handball teams. Semi-structured interviews with nine coaches were evaluated using a qualitative content analysis. The results revealed that positive and negative PM were characterized by factors regarding behavior, cognition, confidence, emotions, and the team. Triggers for positive PM were categorized into confidence, players’ individual factors, team factors, and team-opponent-factors, whereas triggers for negative PM related to coach factors, confidence, external factors, players’ individual factors, and team factors. Moreover, strategies emerged that are considered beneficial for controlling PM. The results are discussed with emphasis on behavioral aspects, confidence, emotions, team factors, and application. Foundations based on this study and recent research lead to the assumption that PM is probably best portrayed in a circular approach.

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J. Robert Grove and N. Paul Heard

Sport performers (N = 213) completed either a questionnaire measure of dispositional optimism or a questionnaire measure of trait sport confidence and then provided information about how they cope with performance slumps. The use of task-focused, emotion-focused, and avoidance-oriented coping strategies was assessed with a slump-referenced version of the Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations (CISS; Endler & Parker, 1990a). Results indicated that both personality measures were positively related to the use of problem-focused strategies and negatively related to the use of emotion-focused strategies. These findings are discussed in relation to previous research on confidence in sport and a model of sport-related coping proposed by Hardy, Jones, and Gould (1996). Practical implications for the effective management of performance slumps are also addressed.

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Fraser Carson and Remco C. J. Polman

The aim of this case study was to investigate the emotional factors and coping strategies used by a professional rugby union player during rehabilitation from anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. A dominant (qualitative) - less dominant (quantitative) mixed methodological approach was established concurrent with the athlete’s rehabilitation. Twice monthly interviews and a self-report diary were completed throughout the rehabilitation process. Six questionnaires were used to assess specific aspects of injury rehabilitation identified from previous literature, including emotional response, coping, social support, and perceived autonomy. Content analysis of each phase of the rehabilitation process established 34 higher-order themes split into two general dimensions: Influential Emotions or Coping Strategies. Findings highlight the benefit of problem-focused coping to improve autonomy and confidence. A sequential movement through a series of emotions (shock, depression, relief, encouragement, and confidence building) was also identified.

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Lynda Mainwaring, Michael Hutchison, Paul Camper and Doug Richards

Depression, fatigue, irritability, confusion, and general mood disturbance are frequently reported after cerebral concussion in sport. Recent trends in research point to the importance of examining postconcussive emotional disturbances more thoroughly, empirically, and clinically. An overview of the complexity of human emotion and its study is provided herein, followed by a review of emotional correlates identified in the existing sparse literature. The significance and clinical implications of identifying emotional correlates of concussion in sport and athletics are discussed.

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Edith Filaire, Patrick Treuvelot and Hechmi Toumi

This study explores the prevalence of disordered eating attitudes in a sample of male first-year university students engaged in a physical education program and examines the relationships between emotional intelligence, coping, and emotional eating in relation to disordered-eating (DE) attitudes. A total of 140 students completed the following questionnaires: the Eating Attitudes Test, the Bar-On Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire, the Coping Inventory Stress Scale, and the Dutch Eating Behavior Questionnaire. The number of participants represented 80% of the male students registered in this discipline at the authors’ university. Twenty percent of students presented DE attitudes even though they were of normal weight. The Bar-On EQ-I results indicated that students with DE attitudes had lower levels of emotional intelligence (EI) scores than students without DE attitudes (control group). Moreover, they scored higher than the control group on coping styles such as avoidance-oriented coping, emotion-oriented coping, and emotional eating. The DE group presented a positive correlation between DE attitudes symptoms and both avoidance- and emotion-oriented coping but a negative correlation between DE attitudes and task-oriented coping. There was also a significant negative correlation between DE attitudes and EI score. Another result from this group indicated an association between EI score and emotional-eating score (p < .05, r = –.44) and also a positive correlation between emotion-oriented coping and emotional eating (p < .01, r = .47). The findings highlight future research potential on the role of emotions and EI in DE symptoms, which may be beneficial in the context of collaborative care management intervention.

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Lee Nelson, Paul Potrac, David Gilbourne, Ashley Allanson, Laura Gale and Phil Marshall

This paper aimed to shed light on the emotional nature of practice in coaching. In particular, this article was designed to explore the relationship between emotion, cognition, and behavior in the coaching context, through a narrative exploration of Zach’s (a pseudonym) experiences as the head coach of a semiprofessional soccer team. Data for this study were collected through a series of in-depth semistructured interviews that were transcribed verbatim and subject to inductive analysis. Two embracing categories were identified in the interview data. The first demonstrated how Zach frequently concealed his true emotions and enacted others in an attempt to achieve his desired ends. The second highlighted how Zach’s past experiences as a player had influenced how he wished to portray himself to his squad, and, importantly, helped him to sympathize with the thoughts and feelings of his players. Here, Lazarus and Folkman’s (1986) cognitive appraisal theory, Denzin’s (1984) writings on understanding emotions, and Hochschild’s (1983) work on emotional labor were used to offer one suggested, but not conclusive, reading of the emotional aspects of Zach’s practice.