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Maria Kavussanu, Adrian Willoughby and Christopher Ring

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of moral identity on physiological responses to affective pictures, namely, the startle blink reflex and pain-related evoked potential. Male (n = 48) and female (n = 46) athletes participating in contact team sports were randomly assigned to either a moral identity group or a non-moral identity group and viewed a series of unpleasant, neutral, and pleasant sport-specific pictures. During picture viewing, a noxious electrocutaneous stimulus was delivered as the startle probe and the startle blink and pain-related evoked potential were measured. Upon completion of physiological measures, participants reviewed the pictures and rated them for valence and arousal. ANOVAs revealed that participants in the moral identity group displayed larger startle blinks and smaller pain-related potentials than did those in the non-moral identity group across all picture valence categories. However, the difference in the magnitude of startle blinks between the moral and non-moral identity groups was larger in response to unpleasant than pleasant and neutral pictures. Our findings suggest that moral identity affects physiological responses to sport-specific affective pictures, thereby providing objective evidence for the link between moral identity and emotion in athletes.

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Richard D. Telford, Edward A. Catchpole, Vicki Deakin, Allan G. Hahn and Ashley W. Plank

The effect of vitamin and mineral supplementation was studied over 7 to 8 months of training and competition in 82 athletes from four sports: basketball, gymnastics, rowing, and swimming. Matched subgroups were formed and a double-blind design used, with subgroups being given either the supplementation or a placebo. All athletes were monitored to ensure that the recommended daily intakes (RDI) of vitamins and minerals were provided by diet alone. Sport-specific and some common tests of strength as well as aerobic and anaerobic fitness were performed. Coaches' assessment of improvement was also obtained. The only significant effect of supplementation was observed in the female basketball players, in which the supplementation was associated with increased body weight, skinfold sum, and jumping ability. A significant increase in skinfold sum was also demonstrated over the whole group as a result of supplementation. In general, however, this study provided little evidence of any effect of supplementation to athletic performance for athletes consuming the dietary RDIs.

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Brenda Jo Bredemeier

A structural-developmental approach was employed in the present study to investigate athletes' moral cognitions about intentionally injurious sport acts. Analyses were based on interviews with 40 female and male high school and college basketball players. Subjects reasoned about general life and sport-specific moral dilemmas and made judgments in hypothetical and engaged contexts about the legitimacy of sport behaviors presented in the Continuum of Injurious Acts (CIA). Athletes' moral reasoning levels were inversely related to the number of CIA acts they perceived as legitimate; this reasoning-judgment relationship was particularly strong for sport reasoning and judgments made in the hypothetical context. Also, differences in the perceived legitimacy of CIA acts occurred in hypothetical and engaged contexts and as a function of sex and, in the engaged condition, school level. Results were discussed in light of athletes' coordination of moral reasoning and decision-making about intentionally injurious sport acts.

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Jeffrey J. Martin and Carol A. Mushett

The purpose of this investigation was to describe social support mechanisms of swimmers with disabilities and examine relationships among social support, self-efficacy, and athletic satisfaction. Results indicated that athletes felt satisfied with the social support they received. Mothers and friends provided primary support in a variety of areas requiring non-sport-related knowledge. Additionally, there were important secondary sources of support in areas requiring sport-specific knowledge. Coaches were primary sources of support in areas that required sport expertise. Fathers were also important sources of secondary support in areas that required both sport expertise and nonsport expertise. Correlational results suggested that athletes who were supported by being listened to and by being challenged to become better athletes and people also reported strong self-efficacy.

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Jihoun An and Donna L. Goodwin

This study described the meaning 7 mothers of children with spina bifida ascribed to their children’s physical education, the mothers’ roles in the schools, and the importance of the IEP in home and school communication. The stories of 4 mothers of elementary and 3 mothers of secondary aged children were gathered using the phenomenological methods of semistructured interviews, artifacts, and field notes. The thematic analysis revealed three themes: a good thing but …, connection to sports, and beyond the curriculum. The mothers valued their children’s participation in physical education and provided instrumental support to teachers and teaching associates. They also valued sport as an avenue for developing sport specific skills, which in turn enriched the school experience. The findings are discussed within the context of Peters’ (1996) model of disablement.

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Leah J. Ferguson, Kent C. Kowalski, Diane E. Mack and Catherine M. Sabiston

Using a mixed methods research design, we explored self-compassion and eudaimonic well-being in young women athletes. In a quantitative study (n = 83), we found that self-compassion and eudaimonic well-being were positively related (r = .76, p < .01). A model of multiple mediation was proposed, with self-compassion, passivity, responsibility, initiative, and self-determination accounting for 83% of the variance in eudaimonic well-being. In a qualitative study (n = 11), we explored when and how self-compassion might be useful in striving to reach one’s potential in sport. Self-compassion was described as advantageous in difficult sport-specific situations by increasing positivity, perseverance, and responsibility, as well as decreasing rumination. Apprehensions about fully embracing a self-compassionate mindset in sport warrant additional research to explore the seemingly paradoxical role of self-compassion in eudaimonic well-being.

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Amanda Visek and Jack Watson

The purpose of this investigation was to examine male ice hockey players’ (N = 85) perceived legitimacy of aggression and professionalization of attitudes across developmental age and competitive level. Findings were analyzed within the complementary conceptual frameworks of social learning theory, professionalization of attitudes, and moral reasoning. Ice hockey players completed a modified, sport-specific version of the Sport Behavior Inventory and a modified version of the Context Modified Webb scale. Results of the investigation revealed that as players increased in age and competitive level, perceived legitimacy of aggressive behavior increased, and their attitudes about sport became increasingly professionalized. Based on the conceptual framework in which the results are interpreted, intervention services by sport psychology practitioners are explored that are aimed at the athlete, the organization, and influential others.

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Carolina Lundqvist and Fredrik Sandin

This study examined subjective (SWB), psychological (PWB) and social well-being (Social WB) at a global and sport contextual level among ten elite orienteers (6 women and 4 men, median age = 20.4, range 18–30) by employing semistructured interviews. Athletes described SWB as an interplay of satisfaction with life, sport experiences and perceived health combined with experienced enjoyment and happiness in both ordinary life and sport. SWB and PWB interacted, and important psychological functioning among the elite athletes included, among other things, abilities to adopt value-driven behaviors, be part of functional relationships, and to self-regulate one’s autonomy. The ability to organize and combine ordinary life with elite sport, and the use of strategies to protect the self during setbacks was also emphasized. For a comprehensive theoretical understanding of well-being applicable to elite athletes, the need for a holistic view considering both global and sport-specific aspects of WB is discussed.

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Edward F. Etzel Jr.

Information is presented on the development and validation of a unique multidimensional, sport-specific model of attention among 71 world-class and/or potential world-class international rifle shooters. It was postulated that attention possesses five relatively independent subcomponent factors: capacity, duration, flexibility, intensivity, and selectivity. A 25-item, five-subscale questionnaire, the Riflery Attention Questionnaire (RAQ), was systematically developed utilizing Goldberg's intuitive-rational strategy as well as Jackson's general test-item development approach. Factor analysis and item analyses performed on each subscale generally supported the factor integrity of the model. A step-wise multiple regression analysis was also conducted to determine the extent to which subjects' RAQ responses predicted their shooting performance. A low positive relationship between the two was noted.

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Pamela S. Highlen and Bonnie B. Bennett

Elite wrestlers (n = 39) and divers (n = 44), representing open- and closed-skill sports, respectively, completed a survey assessing psychological factors associated with training and competition. Of particular interest were factors distinguishing qualifiers from nonqualifiers within and between each sport type. Discriminant analyses and t-tests revealed that as expected self-confidence and concentration distinguished qualifiers from nonqualifiers in both sport groups. Also, as predicted, use of imagery differentiated only the qualifying from the nonqualifying divers. Self-talk items also distinguished the two diving groups on more items than they differentiated the wrestlers. However, when all elite divers were compared with their wrestling counterparts, no differences were found for the imagery scale and self-talk frequency, instruction, and praise items. Anticipatory anxiety patterns for divers and wrestlers were different, with successful divers and less successful wrestlers reporting higher precompetition levels of anxiety. During competition nonqualifiers across sport type reported higher anxiety. Implications for a sport-specific typology of psychological characteristics are discussed.