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Attitudes Toward Seeking Sport Psychology Consultation Among Wheelchair Basketball Athletes

Stephen J. Page, Scott B. Martin, and Valerie K. Wayda

The purpose was to assess athletes’ attitudes toward seeking sport psychology consultation (SPC) and to examine demographic variables in relation to attitudes toward sport psychology consultants (SPCs). Participants were 53 wheelchair basketball athletes (34 males, 19 females). Data were collected with the Attitudes Toward Seeking Sport Psychology Consultation Questionnaire (ATSSPCQ) of Martin, Wrisberg, Beitel, and Lounsbury (1997). Participants exhibited a range of stigmas toward SPCs, an openness toward consulting with an SPC, and a recognition of need for an SPC. ANOVAs indicated no significant differences between genders, races, ages, educational levels, and SPC experience on ATSSPCQ scores. The results suggest that some wheelchair athletes are amenable to the notion of utilizing an SPC and provide further impetus for SPCs to work with athletes with disabilities.

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NCAA Division I Athletes’ Attitudes Toward Seeking Sport Psychology Consultation: The Development of an Objective Instrument

Scott B. Martin, Craig A. Wrisberg, Patricia A. Beitel, and John Lounsbury

A 50-item questionnaire measuring athletes’ attitudes toward seeking a sport psychology consultant (ATSSPCQ) was initially developed and then administered to 48 African American and 177 Caucasian student-athletes at a NCAA Division I university. Principal components factor analyses were conducted to extract initial factors and then varimax orthogonal rotation was performed. The analyses produced three dimensions of athlete attitude that accounted for 35% of the variance: stigma tolerance, confidence in a SPC/recognition of need, and interpersonal openness/willingness to try a SPC. A MANOVA and follow-up discriminant function analyses were then performed to identify the factors that maximized differences between gender and race. Significant differences in stigma tolerance were found for both gender and race. SPCs were stigmatized more by male athletes than by female athletes and more by African American athletes than by Caucasian athletes. No other significant effects were obtained.

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Current Status and Future Issues of Sport Psychology Consultation in Flanders

Paul Wylleman, Paul De Knop, Joke Delhoux, and Yves Vanden Auweele

Academic background, consultation processes, and training and support were assessed with semistructured interviews among 18 sport psychology consultants (60% of total membership) of the Flemish Society of Sport Psychology. A total of 61% of consultants were trained as clinical psychologists, most with limited sport psychology background. Assessments revealed that interpersonal relationships skills and communication (63%) and fear of failure (55%) were the most common concerns, whereas stress management (54%), enhancement of relationship and communication skills (31%), and visualization and goal setting (31%) were used in interventions. Recommendations for enhancing the development of applied sport psychology in Flanders include specialization in sport psychology at the academic level, continued sport psychology consultation training, and a better coordination between sport psychology consultants and the world of sports.

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Integrating Web Pages and E-Mail into Sport Psychology Consultations

Samuel J. Zizzi and Frank M. Perna

The present study compared the effects of two contact methods on sport psychology service use. The sample consisted of a total of 163 athletes on 14 teams. After a workshop, teams were randomly assigned to contact the sport psychology consultant (SPC) by traditional methods or by electronic methods. There were greater contacts and assessments completed in the electronic group compared to the traditional group one month after the workshop. The results suggest that athletes prefer using E-mail and web pages over phone and in-person meetings when initially contacting a SPC and gathering sport psychology information. Overall results suggest that electronic contact methods are at least equal, and in several cases superior, to traditional contact methods regarding generating requests for service from athletes on a short-term basis.

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AASP-Certified Consultants’ Experiences of Spirituality within Sport Psychology Consultation

Trevor J. Egli, Leslee A. Fisher, and Noah Gentner

In this paper, the experiences of nine AASP-certified sport psychology consultants (SPCs) working with athletes who invoke spirituality in their consulting sessions are described. After a brief review of terms and literature, consultants’ own words from interview transcripts are used to illustrate four major themes. These were: (a) SPC definitions of spirituality; (b) SPC definitions of faith: (c) SPC perceived challenges; and (d) spirituality implementation within consulting session. We conclude by addressing why we believe that spirituality is a cultural competence component and why sport psychology consultants should engage with the ongoing development of cultural competency.

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Reflecting on Initiating Sport Psychology Consultation: A Self-Narrative of Neophyte Practice

Nicholas L. Holt and William B. Strean

Few studies have considered specific factors of service delivery in applied sport psychology that might contribute to successful outcomes (Petitpas, Giges, & Danish, 1999). It has been suggested that the sport psychology consultant (SPC)-athlete relationship is at the core of athlete-centered approaches (Petitpas et al., 1999; Ravizza, 1990; Thompson, 1998). The purposes of this paper are to discuss issues related to (a) professional education, training, and the role of supervision in the SPC service delivery process; (b) the SPC-athlete relationship; and (c) the need for reflective practice in applied sport psychology. A narrative of self (Sparkes, 2000) is presented by a trainee SPC to demonstrate the practicality of Tripp’s (1993) critical incident reflection exercise. Issues arising from an initial intake meeting with a competitive athlete are reflected upon and analyzed. Reflection is suggested as a tool for education and supervision in applied sport psychology.

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Development and Validation of a Monitoring Instrument for Sport Psychology Practice: The Sport Psychology Outcomes and Research Tool (SPORT)

Ashley A. Hansen, Joanne E. Perry, John W. Lace, Zachary C. Merz, Taylor L. Montgomery, and Michael J. Ross

validation of the 17-item SPORT, a multidimensional measure designed for use in sport psychology consultation services. It is hoped that this measure will shed light on mechanisms of change within sport psychology intervention. The authors encourage future researchers to freely utilize this tool in sport

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Application of the Transtheoretical Model to Psychological Skills Training

Thad R. Leffingwell, Steven P. Rider, and Jean M. Williams

In an effort to apply the transtheoretical model of change to the area of psychological skills training, questionnaires measuring stage of change, decisional balance, and self-efficacy were developed and cross-validated on two samples of NCAA Division I intercollegiate student-athletes. The measures showed good internal reliability and construct validity and exhibited hypothesized functional relationships with each other. In addition, the stage of change measure predicted sport psychology consultations initialed by athletes during the year following questionnaire administration and may prove to be a useful tool in predicting subsequent initiation of individual sport psychology consultation. Several potentially useful lines of research are discussed and recommendations are made regarding the development of sport psychology interventions tailored according to athletes’ stage of change.

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Development and Psychometric Evaluation of the Sport Psychology Attitudes—Revised Form: A Multiple Group Investigation

Scott B. Martin, Michael Kellmann, David Lavallee, and Stephen J. Page

Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were conducted to develop a revised form of the Attitudes Toward Seeking Sport Psychology Consultation Questionnaire (ATSSPCQ; Martin, Wrisberg, Beitel, & Lounsbury, 1997). The 50-item ATSSPCQ was administered to 533 athletes (M = 18.03 ± 2.71). Exploratory alpha factor analysis with varimax rotation produced four factors: (a) stigma tolerance, (b) confidence in sport psychology consultation, (c) personal openness, and (d) cultural preference. The new questionnaire, the Sport Psychology Attitudes - Revised form (SPA-R), was then administered to 379 United States, 234 United Kingdom, and 443 German athletes (M = 20.37 ± 5.13). Confirmatory factor analysis demonstrated the factorial validity of the four-factor model for the SPA-R for male and female athletes, late adolescent

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Psychodynamics in Sport Performance Enhancement Consultation: Application of an Interpersonal Theory

David E. Conroy and Lorna Smith Benjamin

Psychodynamic concepts have only recently begun to attract serious attention in the sport psychology literature. A dynamically based, interpersonal approach to sport psychology consultation is outlined in this article. Key interpersonal constructs such as important persons and their internalized representations (IPIRs), copy processes, and self-sacrificing gifts of love are described to portray how a case formulation may be developed to explain and guide interventions to overcome some performance problems. Two cases, one involving a performance phobia and the other an enduring slump related to a fear of success, are presented to demonstrate the unique contributions of interpersonal case formulations in performance enhancement consultation.