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.
Validity in Qualitative Inquiry and the Problem of Criteria: Implications for Sport Psychology
Andrew C. Sparkes
Ultramarathon Runners’ Perceptions of Mental Toughness: A Qualitative Inquiry
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.
Perceived Facilitators, Barriers, and Changes in a Randomized Exercise Trial for Obese Youth: A Qualitative Inquiry
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.
“How Come You Sent Me the Canadian One?” Application and Uptake of the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines for Adults With Multiple Sclerosis in the United States
Whitney N. Neal, Emma Richardson, and Robert W. Motl
exercise research . In B. Smith & A.C. Sparkes (Eds.), Routledge handbook of qualitative research in sport and exercise (pp. 191 – 205 ). Taylor & Francis Group . Creswell , J.W. , & Poth , C.N. ( 2018 ). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches ( 4th ed
Parent-Reported Motivators and Barriers to Participation in a Community-Based Intervention Designed for Children With Motor Skill Difficulties: A Qualitative Program Evaluation
Kyrah K. Brown, Jerrise Smith, Tamaya N. Bailey, Gennel Ortiz, Xiangli Gu, and Priscila Tamplain
evaluation design to gain an in-depth understanding of a community-based motor skill intervention program. Qualitative inquiry was used to examine parental perceptions of the program and to understand how interventions could potentially be modified or improved based on participants’ experiences ( Patton
Evaluation of a Conceptual Model to Guide Health Care Providers in Promoting Exercise Among Persons With Multiple Sclerosis
Emma V. Richardson, Sarah Blaylock, Elizabeth Barstow, Matthew Fifolt, and Robert W. Motl
) opportunities for exercise promotion through the health care system, (b) education on exercise for persons with MS, and (c) tools and strategies that would help them promote exercise to persons with MS ( Learmonth et al., 2018 ). Recently, we combined those data gathered through qualitative inquiry into a
Physical Activity for Disabled Youth: Hidden Parental Labor
Donna L. Goodwin and Amanda Ebert
included changes to the original theme labels and a more nuanced presentation of the resources that parents found helpful in the community. Impact and importance of qualitative inquiry rests with the reader. The ideographic nature of IPA was balanced against theoretical transferability, which was aided by
Sport Experience Design: Wearable Fitness Technology in the Health and Fitness Industry
Anthony D. Pizzo, Bradley J. Baker, Gareth J. Jones, and Daniel C. Funk
training sessions; for the purposes of the current study, we distinguish these club owners from club instructors. What constitutes a sufficient sample size in a qualitative inquiry is not as well defined as in quantitative approaches ( Guest, Bunce, & Johnson, 2006 ). Based on the criteria outlined by
“My Child May Be Ready, but I Am Not”: Parents’ Experiences of Their Children’s Transition to Inclusive Fitness Settings
Bobbi-Jo Atchison and Donna L. Goodwin
backgrounds in adapted physical activity and qualitative inquiry and were not involved with the transition program at the time of the study. Results Four themes captured parents’ experiences as their families moved out of a structured, resource-rich, and separate environment; moved into a nonstructured
Medicalization of Exercise Through Vigilance, Productivity, and Self-Care: A Secondary Data Analysis of Qualitative Interviews Among Those With Multiple Sclerosis
Brynn Adamson, Matthew Adamson, Dominique Kinnett-Hopkins, and Robert Motl
Exercise is becoming more integrated into the management of multiple sclerosis (MS) and is promoted to manage impairments and symptoms. Whereas extensive research outlines factors impacting participation, less is known regarding how medicalized exercise promotion might impact views of exercise and self. We conducted a secondary data analysis to understand how medicalized exercise-promotion paradigms impact the meaning and roles of exercise among those with MS. Twenty-two interviews were selected for reanalysis with an interpretative phenomenological analysis methodology and a critical disability studies lens. Three themes were identified: Constant Vigilance (worry about exercise), Productivity and Social Engagement (exercise to feel productive, engage socially, and enhance self-worth), and Exercise as Medicine/Self-Care (exercise to manage MS, relax, improve mental well-being, prevent/reverse disability, and stay healthy). This research underscores that exercise occupies many contradictory roles reflecting a medicalized exercise-promotion paradigm for those with MS, and this should inform exercise promotion practices.