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Ken Hodge, Lee-Ann Sharp and Justin Ihirangi Heke

Sport psychology consulting with athletes who are from an indigenous ethnic group presents some challenges and opportunities that do not typically need to be considered when consulting with nonindigenous athletes. Māori 1 are the indigenous ethnic group of New Zealand. To work as a sport psychology consultant with Māori athletes and indeed any indigenous athletes (e.g., Tahitian, First Nation Canadian Indian) it is important for the sport psychologist to have an understanding of Te Ao o Nga Tāngata Whenua (indigenous worldview) and tīkanga Tāngata Whenua (indigenous cultural practices; Hanrahan, 2004; Schinke & Hanrahan, 2009; Tuhiwai-Smith, 1999). Both research and practice in the social sciences regarding Māori people seek to use a Kaupapa Māori (Māori research and practice platform) approach. Kaupapa Māori attempts to ensure that cultural sensitivity is infused from the conceptualization of an intervention (e.g., psychological skills training, psychological intervention) through to the design, delivery, evaluation, final analysis, and presentation of the intervention or research project. A Kaupapa Māori approach to sport psychology consulting attempts to ensure that key Māori aspirations are honored and celebrated, as many Māori do not wish to follow a non-Māori ideology that depersonalizes the whānau (family) perspective and seeks individuality in its place (Durie, 1998a; Mead, 2003). Therefore, an effective sport psychology consulting program for an athlete who lives her or his life from a Te Ao Māori (Māori worldview) and tīkanga Māori (Māori cultural practices) perspective needs to be constructed as a Māori-for-Māori intervention based within a Kaupapa Māori framework.

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Robert Schinke and Zella E. Moore

Sport psychologists work with athletes from a vast array of cultural backgrounds. Numerous factors comprise the cultural composition of both the client and the practitioner, including, though not necessarily limited to, ethnicity, socioeconomic background and status, race, socialization, sexual orientation, religion, gender, and geographic location. These intersecting and often deeply ingrained personal variables can certainly impact the nature of the therapeutic relationship, intervention strategies, and intervention outcomes with athletic clientele. Yet, while other domains of professional psychology have long embraced the integration of cultural aspects, the field of sport psychology has been slow to join the dialogue or to learn from these relevant sources. Therefore, this special issue of the Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology was conceptualized and constructed with the intention of opening these lines of discussion to help ensure that sport psychologists are gaining a comprehensive understanding of the athletes with whom they work, demonstrating respect for and integration of cultural constructs in the treatment room, and maintaining personal and professional self-awareness. As Co-Editors of this unique special issue, Drs. Robert Schinke and Zella Moore provide the present paper to begin this important dialogue. This paper sets the stage for six informative articles by leading professionals in their areas, including both theoretical articles and articles highlighting culturally informed direct service provision with athletes from around the world. We hope that this timely special issue leads to numerous additional questions, cutting-edge research ideas, and most importantly, an enhanced or renewed commitment from sport psychologists to integrate the concepts found within these pages, and those already found within the professional literature of mainstream psychology, into their daily work with athletes.

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Dana K. Voelker and Justine J. Reel

In this study, the authors examined female competitive figure skaters’ experiences of weight pressure in sport. Perceptions of the ideal skating body; sources of weight pressure; ways that body image, weight-management behaviors, and athletic performance have been affected; and recommendations for improving body image were explored. Aligning with a social constructivist view (Creswell, 2014), data were analyzed using an inductive thematic approach (Braun & Clarke, 2006). Skaters described the ideal skating body in an inflexible fashion with little room for deviation and acceptance of body diversity. Skaters cited their first weightpressure experience between 7 and 14 years of age, which most notably involved coaches, parents, skating partners, and other aspects of the skating culture. These experiences were characterized as promoting body-image concerns, unhealthy weight-management strategies, and interference with the psychological aspects of on-ice performance. Results from this study demonstrate the need to construct and maintain body-positive skating environments.

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Richard D. Ginsburg, Steven R. Smith, Nicole Danforth, T. Atilla Ceranoglu, Stephen A. Durant, Hayley Kamin, Rebecca Babcock, Lucy Robin and Bruce Masek

Two developmental pathways to sport excellence have been described: early specialization and early sampling (Côté, Lidor, & Hackfort, 2009). Despite a common assumption that early specialization (defined as playing one sport exclusively and intensely before age 12) is a necessary precursor to success at the collegiate or professional levels, research to support this assumption remains unclear. To add to this literature, the current study was a survey of 708 minor league professional baseball players on the ages at which they began to specialize in their sport. Results indicated that most players sampled a diversity of sports up through late adolescence. Only 25% of players specialized before the age of 12 and the mean age of specialization was 15 years. Furthermore, those who specialized later were more likely to receive college scholarships. Finally, we examined patterns of specialization as a function of athletes’ home climate and culture. At least in this sample of professional minor league baseball players, an early sampling pathway seems to have fortified success at both the collegiate and professional levels.

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Justine J. Reel

the dedicated hands of Donald Marks, PsyD, for the last 4 years; I am pleased to receive the EIC baton from him and keep JCSP on its upward trajectory. To assist with this exciting transition, new members have been added to the editorial board to enhance diversity and expand our capacity to publish

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Carrie B. Scherzer and Justine J. Reel

losing sight of institutional history along with the importance of promoting diversity and inclusiveness in our profession. AASP has a strong tradition of being student-centered and has always carefully considered actions or policies that could negatively affect students. One of the gravest concerns

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Marja Kokkonen

participants’ race/ethnicity, given the currently increasing cultural diversity in Finland in general and increasing transnational migration of athletes. This study also neglected to examine the intersection of age, legally recognized gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation on the GSM participants

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Dana K. Voelker and Justine J. Reel

skating, as John stated: “There’s not really an ideal height or weight. It’s just good proportions.” Adam noted that even at high levels, “Probably no one has the ideal body.” These results demonstrate some diversity and flexibility of views on the ideal skating body for a variety of skating disciplines

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Vellapandian Ponnusamy, Michelle Guerrero and Jeffrey J. Martin

.L. , Araki , K. , & Hammond , C.C. ( 2010 ). A content analysis of cultural diversity in the association for applied sport psychology’s conference programs . Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 22 , 231 – 245 . doi:10.1080/10413201003673153 10.1080/10413201003673153 Kitayama , S. ( 2002

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Jenny H. Conviser, Amanda Schlitzer Tierney and Riley Nickols

format. Assessing professionals should also prioritize building a trusting and therapeutic relationship since it will serve as a necessary foundation for positive change ( Hay, Touyz, & Sud, 2012 ). They must respect diversity of identity and values ( Linville et al., 2010 ) and protect the athlete