Psychological inventories are ubiquitous and necessary in sport psychology for gathering data to address selected research questions, making clinical diagnoses, and as guidelines for providing effective interventions. However, the improper use of inventories can result in inaccurate or incomplete interpretations of data or diagnoses, thereby compromising the effectiveness of intervention efforts and limiting the contributions of sport psychology consulting. The purposes of this article are to (a) summarize the major terminology associated with the use of psychological inventories, (b) provide an overview of reliability and validity issues relevant to establishing psychometric evidence for psychological inventories, (c) review the most common errors associated with using sport psychology inventories, and (d) provide best practice guidelines for the proper use of psychological inventories in sport psychology. If researchers and practitioners follow these guidelines, they can be more confident in the results and proper use of their interventions and consultations.
Mark H. Anshel and Thomas M. Brinthaupt
Joseph Baker, Jennifer Robertson-Wilson and Whitney Sedgwick
The current study examined whether the distribution of published research papers in the field of sport psychology followed the Lotka-Price Law of scientific productivity. All authors who had published articles in five sport psychology journals from 1970 to 2000 were considered. The impact of those authors was determined by the total number of published papers in all journals. Results provided limited support for the Lotka-Price Law; however, it appeared that the field of sport psychology was less elitist than other fields. Although these findings suggest that productivity in this field is similar to that in other fields of science, more research is needed to shed light on the role of the eminent scientist and the average researcher in the advancement of knowledge in sport psychology.
Nicholas L. Holt and William B. Strean
Few studies have considered specific factors of service delivery in applied sport psychology that might contribute to successful outcomes (Petitpas, Giges, & Danish, 1999). It has been suggested that the sport psychology consultant (SPC)-athlete relationship is at the core of athlete-centered approaches (Petitpas et al., 1999; Ravizza, 1990; Thompson, 1998). The purposes of this paper are to discuss issues related to (a) professional education, training, and the role of supervision in the SPC service delivery process; (b) the SPC-athlete relationship; and (c) the need for reflective practice in applied sport psychology. A narrative of self (Sparkes, 2000) is presented by a trainee SPC to demonstrate the practicality of Tripp’s (1993) critical incident reflection exercise. Issues arising from an initial intake meeting with a competitive athlete are reflected upon and analyzed. Reflection is suggested as a tool for education and supervision in applied sport psychology.
Jeffery P. Simons and Mark B. Andersen
The history and development of applied sport psychology practice has not received the same attention and documentation as that of academic sport psychology. After a brief introduction to the literature on the history and professional development of applied sport psychology, some personal perspectives from consultants who have been practicing “in the field” over the last two to four decades are provided. Eleven well-known practitioners discuss how they got started, how their consulting has developed, what significant experiences they have had, and what lessons they have learned along the way. They relate their views on the progression of professional practice and what the future may hold. Finally, they offer some encouragement, cautions, and words of wisdom for fellow and future colleagues in sport psychology consulting.
Gregory A. Dale
Qualitative research in sport psychology is slowly becoming more of an accepted form of inquiry, and most of this research is conducted using various interview methods. In this paper, information is provided on a paradigm that has been given little consideration in sport psychology literature. This paradigm is termed existential phenomenology, and within this paradigm a chief mode of inquiry is the phenomenological interview. With its open-ended format and similarities to the athlete-sport psychology consultant interaction in a performance enhancement intervention, it is a method that appears to offer valuable information about the participant’s experience that might otherwise go unnoticied. The basic views of existential phenomenology, including its philosophical foundations as well as instructions for conducting a phenomenological interview study, are provided. Specific discussion of the potential significance of this type of research for the field of sport psychology is offered.
Steven R. Heyman
A review of the literature finds a series of articles discussing developmental problems in the field of sport psychology, particularly regarding the definition of professional roles and the establishment of credentialing criteria for these roles. A committee formed by the United States Olympic Committee was the first to establish concrete guidelines, which are reviewed here for their potential positive and negative effects as a model for sport psychology.
Damien Clement and Vanessa Shannon
The current study’s primary purpose was to determine the impact of a sport psychology workshop on athletic training students’ sport psychology behaviors. Using a quasi-experimental research design, partial randomization was used to assign athletic training students (n = 160) to a treatment group or control group. A 2 × 2 repeated measures MANOVA revealed a significant multivariate effect for Group x Time interaction [Wilks’s Λ = .22, F (5, 154) = 1, p < .001, η2 = .77]. Follow up ANOVAs revealed significant interactions for all sport psychology behaviors (allp < .01) except referring an injured athlete to a sport psychologist. Results from the current study revealed that members of the experimental group reported a significant increase in their use of total sport psychology behaviors at the six week follow-up when compared with those in the control group. Such increases highlight the need for increased exposure of athletic training students to sport psychology. Given the potential benefits that could be derived from the incorporation of sport psychology skills and techniques into injury rehabilitation by athletic training students’, the assertion that injured athletes’ physical rehabilitation could be enhanced with the incorporation of psychological skills and techniques appears to be supported.
Stewart T. Cotterill
mobile VR through smart phones (e.g., Samsung Gear VR, Google cardboard). This increased accessibility and mobility of VR systems makes them of increasing interest for sport performance, and sport psychology, in particular, for training in strategy, tactics and decision making, and the manipulation of
Rod K. Dishman
Recent views of professional concerns facing sport psychology have not addressed academic dimensions of service delivery. The perspective developed in this paper suggests that defining sport psychology by what sport psychologists do or by who offers services may permit, but cannot ensure, professional competence. The assumption is made that in order for a field of study to sanction applied services it must possess an applied body of knowledge and a reliable technology. The current availability of these for sport is not clear. It is proposed that an acceleration is needed in development of applied technology and theory through creation of sport psychology models rather than exclusive reliance on applying clinical or educational models borrowed from general psychology. It is also proposed that errors associated with available techniques be better defined. Scientific cautions are re-emphasized in the hope that issues over professional services not overshadow the need for a reciprocity between applied questions and theoretical attempts at answering them.
Andrew C. Sparkes
Evaluating the quality of qualitative inquiry has begun to intrigue researchers in sport psychology. Consequently, this has raised important questions regarding the criteria for judging this emerging form of inquiry. With the intent to stimulate methodological debate, this paper explores prevailing notions of validity in qualitative sport psychology by focusing on how various scholars have framed this term. The prevailing parallel perspective of validity is discussed, as are specific problems associated with this view. In contrast, recent attempts to reconceptualize validity in relation to particular forms of qualitative inquiry are considered. The socially constructed nature of validity and the multiplicity of meanings associated with this term are presented according to a diversification perspective. More radical calls to renounce validity and seek alternative criteria for judging qualitative inquiry are also discussed. In closing, the ongoing problem of criteria and its implications for research in sport psychology are considered.