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Emily Kroshus, Sara P.D. Chrisman, David Coppel and Stanley Herring

Mental health disorders often present during the adolescent years ( Kessler et al., 2005 ) and are not uncommon, with nearly one in ten U.S. adolescents experiencing clinically significant depression or anxiety annually ( Avenevoli et al., 2015 ) and 4% having ever attempted suicide ( Nock et

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Michael Amrhein, Harald Barkhoff and Elaine M. Heiby

Although research on the psychological correlates of ocean surfing is scarce, substantial anecdotal evidence suggests that the sport offers a uniquely positive experience. Prior research has demonstrated that surfers report fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety than normative groups, but no explanation has been identified. Greater spirituality has been correlated with lower depression and anxiety, and many surfers have described surfing as a spiritual experience, indicating a potential connection. One hundred surfers were recruited from the Hawaiian Islands and the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. Participants reported their surfing habits and levels of their spiritual surfing experiences. Standardized tests were used to measure participants’ spirituality, depression, and anxiety levels. Results indicated that surfers reported fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety than most available normative groups. Results also demonstrated that greater spirituality is associated with less depression and more spiritual surfing experiences.

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Benjamin J. Levin and Jim Taylor

Surfers are a heterogeneous population with a common interest in riding waves. Surfers qualitatively describe the surfing sensation as a hybrid of meditative and athletic experience. Numerous empirical studies link both meditative experience and exercise with reduced incidence of depression and anxiety; this potentially suggests that surfers may endorse fewer symptoms of either disorder. One hundred surfers (N = 100) were administered the Beck Depression Inventory-II, the Beck Anxiety Inventory, the Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations, and a demographics questionnaire. Results indicate that surfers reported significantly fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety, and employed emotion-based coping responses to stressful situations significantly less than the general populace. Surfers also employed avoidance-based coping strategies more frequently than the general populace. Future study should evaluate causal relationships between surfing and incidence of depression and anxiety.

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Richard E. Tahtinen and Hafrun Kristjansdottir

athletes transition into elite sports ( Rice et al., 2016 ). It is not until recently however that the prevalence of mental health disorders, such as anxiety and depression, have been systematically explored among athlete populations. Previous studies have reported highly variable prevalence rates in

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Chris Englert and Alex Bertrams

In the present article, we analyzed the role of self-control strength and state anxiety in sports performance. We tested the hypothesis that self-control strength and state anxiety interact in predicting sports performance on the basis of two studies, each using a different sports task (Study 1: performance in a basketball free throw task, N = 64; Study 2: performance in a dart task, N = 79). The patterns of results were as expected in both studies: Participants with depleted self-control strength performed worse in the specific tasks as their anxiety increased, whereas there was no significant relation for participants with fully available self-control strength. Furthermore, different degrees of available self-control strength did not predict performance in participants who were low in state anxiety, but did in participants who were high in state anxiety. Thus increasing self-control strength could reduce the negative anxiety effects in sports and improve athletes’ performance under pressure.

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Eleanor Quested, Jos A. Bosch, Victoria E. Burns, Jennifer Cumming, Nikos Ntoumanis and Joan L. Duda

Self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 2000) posits basic psychological need satisfaction (BPNS) as essential for optimal functioning and health. Grounded in this framework, the current study examined the role of BPNS in dancers’ cognitive appraisals and hormonal and emotional responses to performance stress. Dancers reported their degree of BPNS 1 month before a solo performance. Threat and challenge appraisals of the solo were recorded 2 hr before the performance. Salivary cortisol and anxiety were measured 15 min before, and 15, 30, 45, and 60 min postperformance. Higher BPNS was associated with lower cortisol responses and anxiety intensity. Challenge appraisals mediated the association between BPNS and cortisol. Threat appraisals mediated the BPNS–anxiety intensity relationship. These findings point to the potential importance of performers’ BPNS for optimal emotional and hormonal homeostasis in performance conditions.

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Marco Rathschlag and Daniel Memmert

The present study examined the relationship between self-generated emotions and physical performance. All participants took part in five emotion induction conditions (happiness, anger, anxiety, sadness, and an emotion-neutral state) and we investigated their influence on the force of the finger musculature (Experiment 1), the jump height of a counter-movement jump (Experiment 2), and the velocity of a thrown ball (Experiment 3). All experiments showed that participants could produce significantly better physical performances when recalling anger or happiness emotions in contrast to the emotion-neutral state. Experiments 1 and 2 also revealed that physical performance in the anger and the happiness conditions was significantly enhanced compared with the anxiety and the sadness conditions. Results are discussed in relation to the Lazarus (1991a, 2000a) cognitive-motivational-relational (CMR) theory framework.

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Martin J. Turner, Stuart Carrington and Anthony Miller

distress is negatively related to mental health ( Payton, 2009 ) and has been defined as a state of emotional suffering characterized by symptoms of depression and anxiety ( Mirowsky & Ross, 2002 ). In the current study separate markers of anxiety, depression, and anger, are used to indicate psychological

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John Scott-Hamilton and Nicola S. Schutte

This study examined the role of degree of adherence in a mindfulness-based intervention on mindfulness, flow, sport anxiety, and sport-related pessimistic attributions in athletes. Twelve athletes participated in an 8-week mindfulness intervention which incorporated a mindfulness focus on movement training component. Participants completed baseline and posttest measures of mindfulness, flow, sport anxiety, and sport-related pessimistic attributions, and they filled out daily mindfulness-training logbooks documenting their frequency and duration of mindfulness practice. Participants were identified as either high adherence or low adherence with mindfulness-training based on a composite score of logbook practice records and workshop attendance. Athletes high in adherence, operationalized as following recommended practice of mindfulness exercises, showed significantly greater increases in mindfulness and aspects of flow, and significantly greater decreases in pessimism and anxiety than low adherence athletes. Greater increases in mindfulness from baseline to posttest were associated with greater increases in flow and greater decreases in pessimism. Increases in flow were associated with decreases in somatic anxiety and pessimism.

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Christopher P. Tomczyk, George Shaver and Tamerah N. Hunt

Clinical Scenario Anxiety is a mental disorder that affects a large portion of the population, especially adolescents and young adults. 1 Anxiety is an emotional response to a stimulus (external or internal) and is characterized by a mixture of behavioral, cognitive, and somatic symptoms. 2 , 3