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Bonita C. Long and Colleen J. Haney

The present study describes the results of a 14-month follow-up evaluation of 39 stressed working women randomly assigned to aerobic exercise (i.e., jogging) or progressive relaxation interventions. At this follow-up, both intervention groups reported significantly less anxiety and greater self-efficacy. In addition, subjects tended to increase their use of problem-focused coping as compared to emotion-focused coping, and 64% of them were still regularly using some structured form of relaxation or exercise. The proportion of subjects reaching clinically significant improvements was 24% at the end of treatment and 36% at the 14-month follow-up.

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Gerald Patrick Lynch

The incidence of athletic injury is on the rise. Often overlooked in the injury treatment intervention process is the emotional component and the role of the mind. Because stress, panic, fear, and other emotions contribute to this crisis situation, it becomes essential for the sport psychologist to be part of the sports medicine team by offering psychological services and strategies to injured athletes. This article will discuss the mind-body connection in injury and offer practical strategies that the author has found useful in facilitating the healing and recovery process.

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Peter R.E. Crocker

This paper discusses the benefits of using theory-driven research in sport and exercise psychology using individuals with physical disabilities. The cognitively oriented theories of transactional stress and emotion (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984), attributional theory (Weiner, 1985), and theory of planned behavior (Ajzen, 1985) are outlined. Relevant research with individuals with physical disabilities is examined. The paper addresses how integrating these three theories with research with this population can stimulate research ideas, improve the generality of theories used in sport and exercise psychology, and provide meaningful knowledge about their experiences.

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Patrick R. Thomas and Ray Over

Psychological and psychomotor skills associated with performance in golf were established through ratings provided by 165 men with golf handicaps ranging from 5 to 27. Several components of skilled performance in golf were identified through factor analysis of these ratings, followed by comparisons between lower handicap and higher handicap players. Skilled golfers (those with lower handicaps) reported greater mental preparation, a higher level of concentration when playing golf, fewer negative emotions and cognitions, greater psychomotor automaticity, and more commitment to golf. Three self-report assessment scales (measures of psychological skills and tactics, psychomotor skills, and golf involvement) were developed from the data. Contexts in which these scales can be used are discussed.

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Bradley Fawver, Garrett F. Beatty, Kelly M. Naugle, Chris J. Hass and Christopher M. Janelle

Emotional states influence whole-body movements during quiet standing, gait initiation, and steady state gait. A notable gap exists, however, in understanding how emotions affect postural changes during the period preceding the execution of planned whole-body movements. The impact of emotion-induced postural reactions on forthcoming posturomotor movements remains unknown. We sought to determine the influence of emotional reactions on center of pressure (COP) displacement before the initiation of forward gait. Participants (N = 23, 14 females) stood on a force plate and initiated forward gait at the offset of an emotional image (representing five discrete categories: attack, sad faces, erotica, happy faces, and neutral objects). COP displacement in the anteroposterior direction was quantified for a 2 second period during image presentation. Following picture onset, participants produced a posterior postural response to all image types. The greatest posterior displacement was occasioned in response to attack or threat stimuli compared with happy faces and erotica images. Results suggest the impact of emotional states on gait behavior begins during the motor planning period before the preparatory phase of gait initiation, and manifests in center of pressure displacement alterations.

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Frederick L. Philippe, Robert J. Vallerand, Joéline Andrianarisoa and Philippe Brunel

The present research examined in two studies the role of passion for refereeing in referees' affective and cognitive functioning during games. In line with past research on the dualistic model of passion (Vallerand et al., 2003), Study 1 (n 1 = 90 and n 2 = 148) revealed that harmonious passion (HP) for refereeing was positively associated with positive emotions and the experience of flow during games. Conversely, obsessive passion (OP) for refereeing was unrelated to positive emotions and flow, but was positively associated with negative emotional experiences during games. Study 2 (n = 227) examined referees' affective and cognitive functioning after having committed an important mistake. Results showed that HP was negatively associated with maladaptive affective and cognitive functioning after a bad call, whereas OP was positively associated with such maladaptive functioning, including subsequent poor decision making. In addition, in both studies, most referees reported to be passionate toward refereeing. Finally, results from both studies remained the same after controlling for referees' gender, age, years of experience, and types of sports.

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Larry Lauer and Craig Paiement

The Playing Tough and Clean Hockey Program was developed to teach youth hockey players ages 12 and older to play within the rules and enhance their ability to respond positively to their negative emotions (i.e., through emotional toughness). Hockey players were taught cognitive and emotional skills within a 3 R’s routine to decrease aggressive acts. Three youth ice hockey players identified as frequently exhibiting aggressive behaviors participated in 10 sessions. A single-subject design was used to analyze participants’ aggressive behaviors as well as emotional toughness. Results reveal slight improvements in all participants, with the largest reductions in retaliatory and major aggressive acts. Several key implications for practice are provided including the use of routines and managing emotional responses.

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Edward McAuley and Terry E. Duncan

This investigation examined the roles of intuitive (subjective performance perceptions) and reflective (causal attributions) appraisals in the generation of affective reactions to gymnastic performance. Both intuitive and cognitive appraisal were significant predictors of general affect, whereas self-related affects were predominantly influenced by intuitive appraisal and other-related affect by causal dimensions. The stability dimension evidenced the strongest relationship with both general and other-related affective reactions. Commonality analyses determined both types of appraisal to account for up to 14.7% of the cojoint variance in emotional reactions, suggesting that intuitive appraisal may well be perceived as causal attributions under certain circumstances. The findings are discussed in terms of the conditions under which attributions augment the emotion process and the importance of assessing perceptions of performance.

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Deborah Butler

This paper contributes new theoretical and empirical knowledge to a relatively under researched area, that of the experience and management of emotions and mental health of sports workers. Set within the field of interspecies sports work this paper uses autophenomenography to demonstrate the application of phenomenology within sociology as both a methodological approach and a theoretical framework. It focuses on the personal and working life of a sports worker in horse racing who, through emotional trauma and mental ill health, loses her ‘feel for the game’ (Bourdieu, 1992), the unconscious bodily dispositions and automatic performance that form an integral part of sports work. It examines how practically embodied attitudes and dispositions can return through working with and exercising racehorses. Using the work of Merleau-Ponty my aim is to explore how human-nonhuman animal intercorporeality acts as a catalyst to regaining a ‘feel for the game.’

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Charles H. Hillman, Bruce N. Cuthbert, Margaret M. Bradley and Peter J. Lang

Psychophysiological responses of two rival sport fan groups were assessed within the context of Lang’s biphasic theory of emotion. Twenty-four participants, placed in two groups based on their identification with local sport teams, viewed 6 pictures from 6 categories: team-relevant pleasant sport, team-irrelevant sport, team-relevant unpleasant sport, erotica, household objects, and mutilation. Fans rated appetitive sport pictures higher in pleasure and arousal compared to aversive sport pictures. Physiological measures (startle probe-P3, the startle eye-blink reflex, slow cortical potentials to picture onset, and skin conductance) differentiated both appetitive and aversive team-relevant categories from team-irrelevant pictures, and increased orbicularis oculi EMG was found only for team-relevant appetitive pictures. These results suggest there are differences between rival sport fans in response to the same pictorial stimuli, and further suggest that fans provide an ideal population in which to measure motivation toward appetitive stimuli.