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Edmund O. Acevedo, David A. Dzewaltowski, Diane L. Gill and John M. Noble

The purpose of this study was to examine the sport-specific cognitions of 112 ultramarathoners competing in a 100-mile trail run. Subjects completed the Sport Orientation Questionnaire, the Trait Sport-Confidence Inventory, the Commitment to Running Scale, and a questionnaire designed by the investigators to assess goals, cognitive strategies, perceptions of “runner’s high,” and feelings that occur when subjects are unable to run. Ultramarathoners were more confident, more committed to running, slightly higher in competitiveness, lower on win orientation, and higher on goal orientation in comparison to other athletes. Ultramarathoners also rated importance of and commitment to time goals very high; importance of and commitment to place goals were rated low. No significant differences in cognitive orientations were found between finishers and nonfinishers or between males and females. Responses to open-ended questions revealed that most ultramarathoners reported predominately external thoughts during races, had feelings of psychological well-being and strength as a result of ultramarathoning, never or rarely experienced runner’s high, and experienced negative psychological states when unable to run. Overall, these results demonstrate the unique sport-specific cognitive orientations of ultramarathoners.

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Martin E. Block and Ron Zeman

The purpose of this study was to measure the impact of including three 6th-grade students with severe disabilities who were given support services into a regular physical education class. Basketball skill improvement in passing, shooting, and dribbling during a 3-1/2-week basketball unit and attitudes toward students with disabilities were compared between a 6th-grade class that included 3 students with severe disabilities (CI) and a 6th-grade class in the same school that did not have any students with disabilities (C2). Results from the nonparametric Mann-Whitney U test indicated no differences in skill improvement between the two groups except in dribbling, which favored C2. C1 showed significantly greater pretest scores in general and sport-specific attitudes compared to C2, but there were no differences in gain scores for either general or sport-specific attitude. It was argued that, with proper support services, students with severe disabilities can be included in regular physical education without negatively affecting the program for students without disabilities.

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Harry Prapavessis and Albert V. Carron

One purpose of the present investigation was to examine whether tennis athletes have maladaptive achievement patterns associated with learned helplessness, and whether this condition is related to gender and/or skill level. A second purpose was to determine if there is a relationship between maladaptive achievement patterns and the attributional styles used in failure performances. A sport-specific questionnaire based upon the research of Dweck and others was designed to assess the cognitive, motivational, and emotional maladaptive achievement patterns in male and female highly skilled and lesser skilled athletes enrolled in a tennis academy (N=50). Another sport-specific questionnaire based on Abramson’s attributional model was used to measure each athlete’s attributional style (i.e., locus of control, stability, globality, and importance). Results revealed that 11 subjects demonstrated maladaptive achievement patterns associated with learned helplessness. No gender or skill level differences were present. Subjects classified as helpless had a different attribution dimension style for explaining failure performances than did subjects classified as nonhelpless. Specifically, helpless subjects gave ratings that were internal, persistent, and recurrent. The results were discussed in terms of their practical implications.

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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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Semyon M. Slobounov, Robert Simon, Wayne Sebastianelli, Angela Carlson and William E. Buckley

A variety of assessment devices have been developed for scientific investigation on human movement that can also be used to assess the progress of a rehabilitation program. The present investigation was undertaken to show how this technology can be combined with the most aggressive type of medical intervention and rehabilitation. Advanced technology was used to assess the physical rehabilitation parameters of active range of motion (AROM) and sport-specific functional progression for an Olympic-caliber diver who had bilateral wrist problems. AROM was measured for both wrists using a Flock of Birds motion-tracking device, and functional progression was assessed with an Advanced Mechanical Technology Inc. force platform for measuring the center of pressure (CP) area. The results of the treatment were clinically favorable, with an increase in AROM and a decrease in the CP area for functional motor control. The technology provided useful information about the progress of a rehabilitation program.

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Dave W. Robinson and Bruce L. Howe

The purposes of this study were to (a) determine the nature and extent of appraisal variable/affect relationships in a youth sport achievement setting, (b) assess gender differences in these relationships, and (c) evaluate the applicability of Werner's (1985) attributional theory of achievement motivation and emotion to the domain of youth sport. After participating in a 6-week competitive team sport program, subjects (N=746) were measured on (a) perceived performance, (b) causal attributions and dimensionality, and (c) general, self-related, and other-related affective reactions to performance outcome. Canonical correlation and regression analyses revealed significant appraisal variable/affect relationships, which were similar across the gender groups. Weiner's model received partial support but there were inconsistencies in terms of the model's overall fit. The need for a more elaborate sport-specific model of the antecedents of affect (vis-à-vis Vallerand, 1987) is stressed, and recommendations for future research are briefly outlined.

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Hannah Cooper and Stacy Winter

Disordered eating is a psychological ailment that befalls many athletes and can persist into retirement. Links have been established between disordered eating and societal and sport-specific pressures; however, little research has focused on the perspective of retired athletes in a time-based sport. The purpose of the current research was to explore the conceptualization of disordered eating in relation to swimming participation, how retirement affects eating patterns, and ways to mitigate disordered eating. Following IPA methodological guidelines, a homogeneous sample of retired swimmers (N = 6) was chosen for semistructured, participant-driven interviews determined by scores on a disordered-eating questionnaire. Three superordinate themes were revealed: (1) pressures unique to swimming, (2) transition to eating pattern awareness, and (3) maintaining ideal eating patterns in retirement. The results revealed a combination of novel findings and expansion of previous data on disordered eating. Suggestions for applications of current findings and for future research are also discussed.

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John G.H. Dunn and A. Brian Nielsen

To fully understand why athletes experience anxiety in specific competitive situations, the psychological dimensions upon which threat perceptions are based must also be understood. No studies to date have been designed primarily to facilitate direct cross-sport comparisons of the constructs. The purposes of this study were (a) to identify the psychological dimensions upon which athletes in ice hockey and soccer base threat perceptions towards specific anxiety-inducing game situations, and (b) to determine whether athletes from these sports held similar threat perceptions towards parallel cross-sport situations. Seventy-one athletes rated the degree of similarity of threat perceptions across 15 sport-specific game situations. A multidimensional scaling analysis revealed similar three-dimensional solutions for each sport. However, certain distinct between-sport differences were also observed. Furthermore, the perceptions of threat towards certain situations were found to be multidimensional. The implications these findings have for competitive-anxiety research are discussed.

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Christopher L. Kowalski and Wade P. Kooiman

Coaches influence children’s experiences in sports and have a significant impact on the psychosocial development of young athletes. It is important to understand the coaching-related components of youth sports, including game strategy, motivation, teaching technique, and character building. Coaching efficacy is multidimensional, has a number of sources, and highlights relationships that exist between the coach, athlete, and team. In the present study, parents and coaches’ perceptions of coaching efficacy were examined to see what variables may affect their responses. Coaches’ character-building efficacy was influenced by previous playing experience. Parents’ perceptions of coaches’ efficacy were collectively influenced by parents’ previous playing and coaching experience, attendance at sport-specific educational sessions, and the perceived ability of their child’s team.

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Christine M. Bonci, Beth Sloane and Karen Middleton

Management of the overhead athlete presenting with anterior instability requires an identification of factors influencing successful therapeutic intervention strategies. The importance of differentiating a diagnosis, of knowing something of the demands of the sport, and of addressing pertinent anatomical and biomechanical considerations of the throwing shoulder prior to implementing rehabilitation programs must be considered. An appreciation of the complexities of the throwing shoulder serves as a basis for the selection of rehabilitation activities aimed at returning the athlete to pretrauma levels of overarm proficiency. The challenge of regaining normal shoulder joint osteokinematics and neuromuscular function at a competitive status is described in terms of the proper selection and sequencing of rehabilitation exercises for the initiation and progression of range of motion, muscle strength, muscle reducation, and sport-specific functional activities. Time frames for progressing the various stages of rehabilitation, indications for exercise selection based on electromyographic studies, and attention to detail with regard to exercise execution are emphasized.