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Ronald E. Smith

An important consideration in coping skills training is the extent to which acquired skills generalize to other life domains. For example, sport-oriented performance enhancement skills are often regarded as “life skills” that can also facilitate adaptation in other areas of life. Moreover, task-specific increases in self-efficacy produced by coping skills training could generalize to broader self-referent cognitive domains and affect global personality traits such as self-esteem and locus of control. The concept of generalization is analyzed, and factors and procedures that influence the strength and breadth of generalization effects are discussed. Several coping skills studies that address generalization effects of stress management and self-defense training are described, and the author suggests that generalization assessment should be a focal rather than incidental consideration when evaluating coping skills interventions.

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Astrid Schubring and Ansgar Thiel

Growing up in elite sport represents a challenging project. Young athletes must negotiate a career-defining transitional period while in the midst of adolescence. In this context, notably, the growth process can lead to health problems such as overloading and injuries. In this article, we investigate how adolescent elite athletes cope with problematic growth experiences. Taking a Bourdieusian perspective, we consider coping to be a socioculturally-located practice. Drawing on qualitative interviews and participant observation in German elite sport, our conversational analysis reveals five typical coping strategies among young athletes: (a) distancing, (b) rationalization, (c) active agency, (d) self-disciplining, and (e) responsibility transfer. We reflect on the health-compromising side effects of these strategies as well as the implications for the sporting community’s handling of growth problems.

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Andrew Evans, Robert Morris, Jamie Barker, Tom Johnson, Zoe Brenan and Ben Warner

information, and vicariously experiencing sporting success through the personal stories of others ( Barker et al., 2014 ), which are all antecedents of collective efficacy ( Bandura, 1997 ). A host of other important outcomes (e.g., coping) have yet to be assessed in PDMS research, which suggests that other

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Denise M. Hill, Nic Matthews and Ruth Senior

This study used qualitative methods to explore the stressors, appraisal mechanism, emotional response, and effective/ineffective coping strategies experienced by elite rugby union referees during pressurized performances. Participants included seven male rugby union referees from the United Kingdom (Mage = 27.85, SD = 4.56) who had been officiating as full-time professionals for between 1 and 16 years (M = 4.85, SD = 5.42). Data revealed that the referees encountered a number of stressors, which were appraised initially as a ‘threat’, and elicited negatively-toned emotions. The referees were able to maintain performance standards under pressure by adopting proactive, problem- and emotion-focused coping strategies which managed effectively the stressors and their emotions. However, the use of avoidance-coping, reactive control, and informal impression management were perceived as ineffective coping strategies, and associated with poor performance and choking. Recommendations are offered to inform the psychological skills training of rugby union referees.

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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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Eileen Udry

This research examined the role of coping and social support among injured athletes during rehabilitation from knee surgery. The 3 purposes included (a) describing the coping strategies used, (b) examining whether significant time changes in the use of coping and social support occurred during rehabilitation, and (c) determining if coping and social support were significant predictors of rehabilitation adherence. Athletes (N = 25) who underwent knee surgery completed assessments five times: presurgery and 3,6,9, and 12 weeks postsurgery. Descriptive statistics revealed that instrumental coping was the most used coping strategy. Additionally, a series of repeated measures analyses showed significant time changes in 2 types of coping (negative emotion and palliative), with effect sizes ranging from .16 to .32. Finally, a series of simultaneous multiple regression analyses indicated that instrumental coping was a significant predictor of adherence at 9 weeks postsurgery, explaining approximately 44% of the variance.

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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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Adam R. Nicholls, Nicholas L. Holt and Remco C.J. Polman

The purpose of this study was to examine instances when international agegroup golfers coped effectively and ineffectively with performance-related stressors during competition. Eighteen male Irish international golfers (M age = 17 years) participated in semistructured interviews pertaining to their coping experiences during golf competition. Data were thematically analyzed using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (Smith & Osborn, 2003). Strategies associated with effective coping were rationalizing, reappraising, blocking, positive self-talk, following a routine, breathing exercises, physical relaxation, and seeking on-course social support. Alternatively, different types of coping responses (trying too hard, speeding up, routine changes, negative thoughts, lack of coping) were associated with ineffective coping. Theoretical and applied implications of these findings are discussed.

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Adam Nicholls, Remco Polman, David Morley and Natalie J. Taylor

An aim of this paper was to discover whether athletes of different pubertal status, chronological age, and gender reported distinct coping strategies in response to stress during a competitive event in their sport. A secondary aim was to examine pubertal status group, chronological age, and gender differences in coping effectiveness. Participants were adolescent athletes (n = 527), classified as beginning-pubertal (n = 59), midpubertal (n = 189), advanced-pubertal (n = 237), and postpubertal (n = 22). Findings revealed that there were small, but significant differences in how athletes of different pubertal status and chronological age coped. There were also significant differences between how athletes of different pubertal status perceived the effectiveness of their coping strategies. Interestingly, our results suggested that the relationship between pubertal status and coping and coping effectiveness is different from the relationship between chronological age and coping and coping effectiveness.

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Catherine E. Amiot, Patrick Gaudreau and Céline M. Blanchard

The aim of the present study was to verify, during a stressful sport competition, the associations between motivational antecedents and consequences of the coping process. Using a two-wave design, we tested a model that incorporates motivational orientations, coping dimensions, goal attainment, and affective states among athletes (N = 122). Path analyses using EQS revealed that self-determination toward sport positively predicted the use of task-oriented coping strategies during a stressful sport competition, while non-self-determined motivation predicted the use of disengagement-oriented coping strategies. Task-oriented coping, in turn, was positively associated with the level of goal attainment experienced in the competition, whereas disengagement-oriented coping was negatively associated with goal attainment. Finally, level of goal attainment was positively linked to an increase in positive emotional states from pre- to postcompetition, and negatively associated with an increase in negative emotional states. Findings are discussed in light of coping frameworks, self-determination theory, and the consequences of motivational and coping processes on psychological functioning.