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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.

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Meghan H. McDonough, Valerie Hadd, Peter R.E. Crocker, Nicholas L. Holt, Katherine A. Tamminen and Kimberly Schonert-Reichl

This study qualitatively examined the congruence between anticipated and experienced stressors and coping, and approaches to coping by elite adolescent swimmers across a competitive season. Eight swimmers were interviewed before and after 4 swim meets in a season. Data collection and analysis were guided by theories of stress and coping. Accuracy of anticipating stressors was low, and the stressors and coping strategies were variable across the season. Idiographic profiles were created for each athlete and grouped according to similar characteristics. Three groups included athletes who (a) generally perceived stressors as something to be avoided, (b) generally perceived stressors as problems to be solved, or (c) generally perceived swimming as fun and minimally stressful. These patterns appeared to be associated with anticipating stressors, highlighting the complex and dynamic nature of stress and coping among adolescent athletes.

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Tracey J. Devonport and Andrew M. Lane

The present study used a mixed methods approach to evaluate the usage and perceived effectiveness of a 12-month coping intervention. Twelve junior national netball players followed an intervention that had two objectives: 1) to encourage the use of future-oriented coping across goal-oriented contexts and 2) to facilitate resource accumulation and maintenance by developing coping related competencies. Mentors and players maintained reflective diaries throughout the intervention and were contacted via telephone or e-mail every 2–3 months. In addition, players completed the Brief COPE measure at 1, 6, and 12 months. Eight players and 8 mentors completed postintervention interviews. Data indicated that following completion of the intervention, players perceived themselves to have a better understanding of when and how to use future-oriented coping. They also perceived enhanced psychosocial resources, and a more flexible approach toward goal pursuits. Recommendations for future research developments and the evaluation of coping interventions are presented.

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Faye F. Didymus and David Fletcher

This study investigated sport performers’ coping strategies in response to organizational stressors, examined the utility of Skinner, Edge, Altman, and Sherwood’s (2003) categorization of coping within a sport context, determined the short-term perceived effectiveness of the coping strategies used, and explored appraisal-coping associations. Thirteen national standard swimmers completed semistructured, interval-contingent diaries every day for 28 days. Results revealed 78 coping strategies, which supported 10 of Skinner et al.’s (2003) families of coping. Twenty-four different combinations of coping families were identified. The perceived most effective coping family used in isolation was self-reliance and in combination was escape and negotiation. Stressful appraisals were associated with varied coping strategies. The results highlight the complexity of coping and point to the importance of appraisal-coping associations. Skinner et al.’s (2003) categorization of coping provides a promising conceptual framework for the development of coping research in sport.

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Ken Hodge and Wayne Smith

This case study focused on pressure, stereotype threat, choking, and the coping experiences of the New Zealand All Blacks rugby team during the period from 2004-2011 leading into their success at the 2011 Rugby World Cup (RWC). Employing a narrative approach this case study examined public expectation, pressure, and coach-led coping strategies designed to “avoid the choke” by the All Blacks team. An in-depth interview was completed with one of the All Blacks’ coaches and analyzed via collaborative thematic analysis (Riessman, 2008). In addition multiple secondary data sources (e.g., coach & player autobiographies; media interviews) were analyzed via holistic-content analysis (Lieblich et al., 1998). Collectively these analyses revealed five key themes: public expectation and pressure, learning from 2007 RWC, coping with RWC pressure, decision-making under pressure, and avoiding the choke. Practical recommendations are offered for team sport coaches with respect to coping with pressure and avoiding choking.

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Courtney B. Albinson and Trent A. Petrie

Objectives:

To examine the relationships among preinjury and postinjury stress, coping, personality, mood state, and rehabilitation adherence.

Design:

Participants completed measures of preinjury life-event stress, social-support satisfaction, dispositional optimism, and mood state. Injured athletes completed postinjury measures of mood state, coping methods, and cognitive appraisals of stress and coping ability 1, 4, 7, 14, and 28 days postinjury. Their athletic trainer completed a measure of rehabilitation adherence on those days.

Participants:

84 college football players including 19 injured athletes.

Results:

Negative-life-event stress predicted postinjury mood disturbance, which was positively related with appraisals. Appraisals were related to greater avoidance coping at day 7, greater active behavioral coping at days 14 and 28, and less active cognitive coping at day 28. Active behavioral coping was associated with greater mood disturbance, and active cognitive coping and avoidance coping were inversely related.

Conclusions:

Results support cognitive-appraisal models of sport injury and dynamic views of coping with injury.

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Rich Neil, Harry C.R. Bowles, Scott Fleming and Sheldon Hanton

The purpose of the study was to conduct an in-depth examination of the stress and emotion process experienced by three sub-elite-level male cricketers over a series of five competitive performances. Using reflective diaries and follow-up semistructured interviews, the findings highlighted the impact of appraisal, coping, and emotion on performance, with perceptions of control and self-confidence emerging as variables that can influence the emotive and behavioral outcomes of a stressful transaction. Postperformance, guided athlete reflection was advanced as a valuable tool in the production and application of idiographic coping behaviors that could enhance perceptions of control and self-confidence and influence stress and emotion processes.

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Carolyn E. McEwen, Laura Hurd Clarke, Erica V. Bennett, Kimberley A. Dawson and Peter R.E. Crocker

adjust to these new conditions through automatic processes, as well as conscious coping behaviors ( Tamminen et al., 2014 ). Although the adaptation perspective may emphasize psychological processes, it also recognizes the importance of sociocultural processes that can shape values and identity

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Paul A. Davis, Louise Davis, Samuel Wills, Ralph Appleby and Arne Nieuwenhuys

that metaexperiences may determine how athletes decide the selection, implementation, and effectiveness of related coping strategies. In consideration of these studies, it may be suggested that athletes are required to first be aware of their opponents’ emotional state prior to initiating strategies

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Insa Nixdorf, Raphael Frank, Martin Hautzinger and Juergen Beckmann

Depression among elite athletes is a topic of increasing interest, but empirical data are rare. The present study aimed to provide insight into the prevalence of depressive symptoms among German elite athletes and possible associated factors. In an online survey of 162 athletes, we explored depressive symptoms, chronic stress, coping strategies and stress-recovery states. Results indicated an overall prevalence of 15% for depression among elite athletes (n = 99), and revealed higher levels of depressive symptoms among the individual athletes than the team athletes. Furthermore, correlation analyses showed a significant connection between high levels of depressive symptoms and high levels of chronic stress, negative coping strategies and negative stress-recovery states. Results indicate that the prevalence for depressive symptoms in elite athletes is comparable to that in the general German population. Moreover, exploratory analyses provide first indications of factors associated with depressive symptoms.