The sport of competitive bodybuilding is strongly associated with muscle dysmorphia, a body-image-related psychological disorder. This theoretical article draws on existing concepts, namely stereotyping, prejudice, and positive deviance in sport, to explicate the notion that competitive bodybuilding and body-image disturbance may be mistakenly conflated. The perspective offered here goes beyond the countercultural physique to argue that a negative social perception of competitive bodybuilders obscures the pragmatic necessity to develop a hypermesomorphic physique. Competitive bodybuilders (CBs) and athletes in mainstream competitive sport exhibit congruent psychobehavioral tendencies. In a competitive-sport context, behavior among CBs perceived as pathological may primarily represent a response to the ideological sporting ethic of “win at all costs,” not extreme body-image disturbance. Analyzing the psychobehavioral characteristics of CBs within a sporting rather than a pathological framework, allows for a contextual assessment of behaviors to then determine the clinical significance relative to the research population under investigation.
Gary Robinson and Mark Freeston
A growing body of research has provided evidence for intolerance of uncertainty (IU)—a dispositional characteristic resulting from negative beliefs about uncertainty and its implications—as a possible transdiagnostic maintaining factor across a range of anxiety disorders. No studies have yet examined IU in performance anxiety in sport. The purpose of the present investigation, therefore, was to investigate the relationship between IU and performance anxiety in sport. Participants included 160 university athletes (51% female) who completed measures of IU, performance anxiety, and robustness of sport confidence. Regression analyses revealed that the inhibitory dimension of IU and robustness of sport confidence were significant predictors of performance anxiety. A simple mediation model was also tested and suggested indirect and direct effects of inhibitory IU on performance anxiety symptoms through robustness of sport confidence. Implications of these findings for researchers and practitioners and directions for future research are discussed.
J.D. DeFreese and Alan L. Smith
), 258 – 265 . doi: 10.1016/j.psychsport.2012.10.009 DeFreese , J.D. , & Smith , A.L. ( 2014 ). Athlete social support, negative social interactions, and psychological health across a competitive sport season . Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 36 ( 6 ), 619 – 630 . PubMed ID: 25602144
Gavin Breslin, Stephen Shannon, Kyle Ferguson, Shauna Devlin, Tandy Haughey and Garry Prentice
groups ( Ahmedani, 2011 ), one sub-population receiving increasingly more research attention is those individuals participating in competitive sport (for a recent review see Breslin, Shannon, Haughey, Donnelly, & Leavey, 2017 ). Participation in sport can contribute to mental well-being. For example
Anna Bjerkefors, Johanna S. Rosén, Olga Tarassova and Anton Arndt
to an increase in pelvis and trunk rotation and a higher power output. 1 Kayaking performed by people with physical impairment is called para-kayak and was introduced as an international competitive sport in 2009 and debuted in the Paralympic Games in 2016. In Paralympic sports, athletes compete in
Ebrahim Norouzi, Fatemeh Sadat Hosseini, Mohammad Vaezmosavi, Markus Gerber, Uwe Pühse and Serge Brand
help both nonskilled and skilled athletes to improve motor skills, skills which should, ultimately, also benefit their performance under high pressure conditions, such as competitive sport events. Methods Participants Thirty male novice dart players ( M age = 23.53 years, SD = 3.42) took part in the
Sophia Jowett and Duncan Cramer
Guided by the work-family interface literature, this study examined the concept of spillover in a sample of elite athletes. It was conceptualized that there would be potential negativity and interference between athletes’ intense demands of competitive sport and efforts to maintain positive relationships with their partners. Antecedents and consequences of the potential spillover phenomenon were assessed in a sample of 87 elite-level athletes who had either romantic or marital, heterosexual relationships. Findings indicated that while trust, commitment, and communication were not strongly related to spillover, negative transactions were. Moreover, the occurrence of spillover was negatively related to sport satisfaction and positively to depressive symptoms. Finally, it was found that a mechanism by which perceived negative transactions were linked to athletes’ satisfaction and depression was through spillover. Spillover can help explain how personal relationships and sport are likely to contribute to athletes’ performance accomplishment and overall well-being.
Kelly A. Forrest
Attachment (Bowlby, 1969/1982) is an interdisciplinary theory of social development that views early relationships with caregivers as central to how individuals learn to regulate attention under attachment-related stress (Fonagy & Target, 2002; Main, 2000; Hesse & Main, 2000). This paper proposes that conditions present in competitive sport situations, such as unexpected conditions, fear of failure, fatigue, and coach stress are likely to activate attachment-related attentional processes of athletes and differentially influence attentional flexibility under competitive stress. The attachment-based approach to performance-related problems in which attentional processes are implicated, such as anxiety, choking, and self-regulation, is discussed. Research using the Adult Attachment Interview (George, Kaplan, & Main, 1996) is suggested to investigate the distribution of adult attachment classification in the athlete population.
Robin J. Farrell, Peter R.E. Crocker, Meghan H. McDonough and Whitney A. Sedgwick
Special Olympics programs provide competitive sport opportunities for athletes with intellectual disabilities. This study investigated athletes’ perceptions of motivation in Special Olympics. Using Self-Determination Theory (SDT) as a guiding framework to explore athletes’ experiences, 38 Special Olympians (21 males and 17 females) from British Columbia, Canada were interviewed. The data suggested that factors that enhanced autonomy, competence, and relatedness were linked to the participants’ motivation in Special Olympics programs. These factors included positive feedback, choice, learning skills, demonstrating ability, friendships, social approval, and fun. Social support from significant others was a key factor related to participation motivation. There was also evidence for the motivating aspects of extrinsic rewards. Motivation was undermined primarily by conflicts with coaches and teammates.
Aditi Mankad, Sandy Gordon and Karen Wallman
Psychological trauma associated with long-term injury can cause athletes to experience intense stress-like symptoms and considerable negative affect (e.g., Tracey, 2003; Udry, 1997). Due to the nature of competitive sport, however, it is thought that injured athletes inhibit these emotions to the detriment of their physical health. The present study examined Pennebaker’s (1989) emotional disclosure paradigm within a sporting context. It was hypothesized that writing about a traumatic injury would reduce athletes’ mood disturbance and stress during rehabilitation. Further, it was believed that these changes would correspond with an increase in immune expression from pre- to postintervention. Elite injured athletes (N = 9) rehabilitating from anterior cruciate ligament surgery participated in the 3-day writing intervention, consisting of 3 X 20 min writing sessions, during which athletes disclosed negative emotions associated with their injury and rehabilitation experiences. Measures were taken at six time-points (T1-T6), with pre- and postintervention phases lasting for 4 weeks each. Measures consisted of psychological stress (intrusion and avoidance), total mood disturbance, and relative cell-counts/µL for circulating T-cells (CD4/8) and NK cells (CD16/56). Repeated-measures ANOVAs showed a signifcant main effect of time for intrusion, F(5, 70) = 5.83, p =.001, η2 = .29 and avoidance, F(5, 70) = 5.73, p =.002, η2 = 0.29 subscales; mood disturbance, F(5, 70) = 3.71, p= 0.005, η2 = 0.21; and CD4+, F(5, 65) = 2.39, p= 0.048, η2 = .16. Subsequent linear contrasts provided further evidence of significant prepost differences among the stress, mood state, and immune variables. These results suggest that the written disclosure intervention has potential psycho-immunological benefits for athletes rehabilitating from long-term injury.