Evaluating the quality of qualitative inquiry has begun to intrigue researchers in sport psychology. Consequently, this has raised important questions regarding the criteria for judging this emerging form of inquiry. With the intent to stimulate methodological debate, this paper explores prevailing notions of validity in qualitative sport psychology by focusing on how various scholars have framed this term. The prevailing parallel perspective of validity is discussed, as are specific problems associated with this view. In contrast, recent attempts to reconceptualize validity in relation to particular forms of qualitative inquiry are considered. The socially constructed nature of validity and the multiplicity of meanings associated with this term are presented according to a diversification perspective. More radical calls to renounce validity and seek alternative criteria for judging qualitative inquiry are also discussed. In closing, the ongoing problem of criteria and its implications for research in sport psychology are considered.
Anna-Marie C. Jaeschke, Michael L. Sachs and Kristen D. Dieffenbach
Ultramarathon running entails coping with unanticipated environmental circumstances and intense physical and psychological fatigue; a sport in which the role of mental toughness can be crucial. This research focused on semistructured interviews with 12 ultramarathon runners who volunteered to discuss their perceptions of mental toughness. The data allowed researchers to gather a multidimensional view of mental toughness from ultramarathon runners’ experiences and perspective in addition to providing a snapshot of the challenges and demands ultrarunners face, as well as ethical concerns associated with athletes pushing themselves beyond their limits. Central themes included: perseverance/persistence, overcoming adversity, perspective, life experience, psychological skills use, and camaraderie in the ultra community. A deeper understanding of mental toughness obtained from a sample of ultramarathon runners can inform consultants working to improve quality or consistency of performance, and become aware of ethical concerns of encouraging athletes to exceed perceptual or actual limitations.
Corien Peeters, Hannah Marchand, Heather Tulloch, Ron J. Sigal, Gary S. Goldfield, Stasia Hadjiyannakis and Glen P. Kenny
Purpose was to examine experiences of obese youth aged 14 to 18 years during their participation in the Healthy Eating, Aerobic, and Resistance Exercise in Youth (HEARTY) randomized controlled exercise trial.
A longitudinal qualitative approach was used to investigate youths’ experiences across time points in the trial: 3-weeks (run-in phase; n = 44, 52% males), 3-months (midpoint; n = 25), and 6-months (end of intervention; n = 24). Participants completed telephone interviews on perceived exercise facilitators, barriers, outcomes, and program preferences. Responses were subject to content analyses and are reported as frequencies.
Participants joined the trial initially to lose weight, but focused more on fitness over time. Exercise behavior was influenced by a sense of achieving results, and by family and peers (ie, supportive comments, transportation). At 6-months, the most commonly perceived changes were improved fitness (50%) and appearance (46%). Suggested changes to the HEARTY trial included initial guidance by a trainer, and more varied and group-based activity.
Exercise facilitators, barriers and perceived changes in an exercise trial are reported. Access to a gym, initial direction by a trainer, variety, and group-based activities were reported as desired components of an exercise intervention. Findings also point to the importance of involving family and peer supports.
Emily Lees, Wendell C. Taylor, Joseph T. Hepworth, Karina Feliz, Andrea Cassells and Jonathan N. Tobin
Despite the numerous benefits of physical activity, older adults continue to be more sedentary than their younger counterparts, and sedentary behavior is more prevalent among older racial and ethnic minorities than among Whites. This study used the nominal group technique (NGT) to examine participants’ perceptions of what neighborhood environmental changes would encourage greater physical activity for older African American and Hispanic women. Participants age 50–75 years were recruited from 2 urban community health clinics. Nine NGT sessions (45 participants) were conducted. The women were asked what changes in their neighborhood environment would encourage them to become more physically active. Responses to the research question were tabulated, and qualitative analysis was used to identify themes and categories. Major categories were physical environment changes, safety, and activities/social support. Although the physical environment received the greatest number of points, concerns for personal safety cut across categories. Participants indicated the need for more facilities in which to be active.
John N. Singer, Sally Shaw, Larena Hoeber, Nefertiti Walker, Kwame J. A. Agyemang and Kyle Rich
because we, the moderator and panelists, believe that conversations about qualitative inquiry between and among scholars in sport management are very important to the field’s continued growth and development. And, judging by the crowded room and overflow of people outside of it during the session, it
Justine J. Reel, Katherine M. Jamieson, Sonya SooHoo and Diane L. Gill
Dancers, like other athletes and performers, are faced with the pressure to obtain a particular body shape and size that stems from varied etiological factors (e.g., personality characteristics, demands of the dance environment) (Robson, 2002). This study examined specific concerns for college dancers by utilizing quantitative and qualitative forms of inquiry. The purpose of the initial phase was to assess weight-related pressures, social physique anxiety, and disordered eating in college female modern dancers (N=107) using the Weight Pressure in Dance (Reel & Gill, 1996), Social Physique Anxiety Scale (Hart, Leary, & Rejeski, 1989), and The Eating Disorder Inventory (Garner, 1991). An overwhelming majority (76%) of the dancers reported pressures to lose weight with the most commonly cited stressor being the mirror followed by costumes, performance advantage, comparison to other dancers, and landing the best roles. The mean social physique anxiety score was moderate, but 35 dancers exhibited a high degree of social physique anxiety. In addition, the dancers had a lower tendency toward disordered eating compared to college females (Garner, 1991). The second phase of the study confirmed that modern dancers experience unique pressures. Through qualitative inquiry, the participants’ individualized experiences related to body image and the culture of modern dance could be shared.
Suzanne Malia Lawrence, C. Keith Harrison and Jeff Stone
Perceptual confirmation paradigm (PCP) rooted in social psychology, can be implemented to frame sport science research questions (Stone, Perry, & Darley, 1997). Public perception of college athletes’ lives has been scarcely investigated in the sport sciences (Keels, 2005) using the PCP to prime stereotypes. The purpose of this study was to prime stereotypes about a day in the life of a college athlete by using qualitative inquiry to assess college students’ (N = 87) perceptions. Participants provided written responses about a day in the life of a college athlete. Two different college athlete targets were used “Tyrone Walker” (n = 44) and “Erik Walker” (n = 43). Four major themes and one minor theme emerged which are descriptive of the participants’ perceptions. Findings were related to the leadership responsibilities of sport management practitioners in higher education. Future research inquiries and relevant suggestions were articulated for sport management scholars in the 21st century.
Steve M. Smith, Stewart T. Cotterill and Hazel Brown
, J.M. ( 2015 ). Critical analysis of strategies for determining rigor in qualitative inquiry . Qualitative Health Research, 25 ( 9 ), 1212 – 1222 . PubMed ID: 26184336 doi:10.1177/1049732315588501 10.1177/1049732315588501 Nash , C. , & Collins , D. ( 2006 ). Tacit knowledge in expert
Colin J. Lewis, Simon J. Roberts, Hazel Andrews and Rebecca Sawiuk
. Qualitative Inquiry, 3, 222 – 236 . doi: 10.1177/107780049700300205 Beames , S. , & Pike , E. ( 2008 ). Goffman goes rock climbing: Using creative fiction to explore the presentation of self in outdoor education . Australian Journal of Outdoor Education, 12, 3 – 11 . doi: 10.1007/BF03400865
Dana K. Voelker and Justine J. Reel
examine how body pressure experiences of female skaters are shaped by larger sociocultural beliefs, values, and ideas, situated in the historical context of figure skating, and communicated through dominant discourse. Denzin ( 2017 ) wrote through qualitative inquiry, “we are no longer called to