The season-long effects of rational emotive behavior therapy on the irrational beliefs of professional academy soccer athletes

Martin J. Turner, Jamie B. Barker and Matthew J. Slater

Centre for Sport, Health and Exercise Research, Staffordshire University, UK

Citation

J. Turner, M., B. Barker, J., J. Slater, M. (2014). The season-long effects of rational emotive behavior therapy on the irrational beliefs of professional academy soccer athletes. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 45(5), 429-451. doi:10.7352/IJSP.2014.45.429

Abstract

The extant literature reveals an increasing use of rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) with athletes. Recently, a single REBT education workshop was shown to reduce the irrational beliefs of athletes in the short-term. This paper reports the effects of multiple REBT education workshops (REBT program) on season- long irrational beliefs in elite soccer academy athletes. To assess the season-long effect of the REBT program, a quasi-experimental single-case A-B with follow-up design was used, so that immediate and long-term changes in irrational beliefs from pre-test levels could be examined. Visual analysis of data indicated that for the REBT program all irrational beliefs reduced at intervention onset and need for achievement and demand for fairness remained reduced long-term. Social validation data indicated perceived psychological and performance benefits underpinned by shifts in irrational beliefs. Results are discussed with reference to mechanisms of change, study limitations, and recommendations for using REBT in sport.

Keywords: Applied Sport psychology, Control group, Single-case design, Soccer, Youth sport.


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