Volume 42 - n. 6 - November-December 2011


Mental toughness, Coping Self-Efficacy, and Coping effectiveness among athletes

Adam R. Nicholls *, Andrew R. Levy **, Remco C. J. Polman *** and Lee Crust ****

(*) Department of Psychology, University of Hull, UK
(**) Department of Social and Psychological Sciences, Edge Hill University, UK
(***) Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living,Victoria University, Australia
(****) School of Sport coaching and Exercise Science, University of Lincoln

The aim of this study was to examine: (1) the relationship between mental toughness (MT) and coping self-efficacy (CSE), (2) the relationship between MT and coping effectiveness (CE), and (3) the extent to which MT and CSE predicted CE. Participants were 206 athletes (M age = 17.75 years, SD = 3.36) who completed a measure of MT and CSE prior to competing and a measure of CE within 30 minutes of finishing their competitive event. The results of the present study revealed that the most mentally tough athletes have higher levels of CSE and cope more effectively during sport. Furthermore, higher levels CSE and total MT resulted in higher CE scores, with MT predicting an additional 3% of variance compared to the variance from CSE (5.6%). This finding highlights the importance of both CSE and MT in predicting how effectively an athlete will cope with stress.

Keywords: Coping Self-efficacy, Cross-sectional, Mental Toughness



Spatial ability and motor performance: Assessing mental rotation processes in elite and novice athletes

David Moreau *, Annie Mansy-Dannay **, Jérôme Clerc ** and Alain Guerrién **

(*) Departement of Psychology, Princeton University, USA
(**) EA 4072 PSITEC, University of Lille-North, France

Experimental and brain imaging studies provide strong evidence for the involvement of motor processes in spatial ability problems, such as mental rotation tasks. This study was designed to assess the relationship between motor performance in sport and mental rotation problems solving. Elite and novice athletes in various sports completed two spatial ability tasks the Mental Rotation Test (MRT), sport specific training and MRT results (experiments 1 & 2), Vandenberg & Kuse, 1978) and the Movement Imagery Specific Test (MIST, Moreau, Clerc, Mansy-Dannay, Guerrien, 2010). If motor processes are decisive in spatial ability tasks, we should find differences favoring individuals involved in activities that require complex motor skills. Interestingly, we found a significant relationship between sports performance, activity, sport-specific training and MRT results (experiment 1 & 2). In addition, the well-documented gender effect on the MRT was confirmed (experiments 1 & 2). Results also underlined that elite athletes gained efficiency by using flexible strategies, which can be adjusted to the particular problems encountered (experiment 2). These results help fostering our understanding of the relationship between motor representations, spatial abilities and performance in sports. They are discussed in terms of their implications to general spatial ability models and to training procedures or sports advertising.

Keywords: Mental rotation, Motor representation, Spatial ability, Sport performance, Strategies



Sports-related correlates of disordered eating: A comparison between aesthetic and ballgame sports

Eva M. Krentz and Petra Warschburger

Department of Psychology, University of Potsdam, Germany

Prevalence rates for disordered eating vary between different types of sports (Sundgot-Borgen & Torstveit, 2004). In this study, athletes of sports with a high risk and low risk for disordered eating were compared regarding potential sportsrelated risk factors for disordered eating. One hundred and seventy-one aesthetic and ballgame sports athletes participated in this study (mean age 14.1 ± 1.8 years). Aesthetic sports athletes reported more disordered eating behaviors, sports-related body dissatisfaction, a greater desire to be leaner to improve sports performance and greater social pressure from the sports environment than did ballgame sports athletes. Emotional distress resulting from missed exercise sessions and the desire to be leaner to improve sports performance predicted disordered eating in both sport types. The results suggest that the kinds of risk factors for disordered eating are equal among sport types, but some potential risk factors are more prevalent in aesthetic sports.

Keywords: Adolescent, Body dissatisfaction, Eating disorder, Elite athlete



Longitudinal analysis of sport commitment types: Does injury play a role?

Windee M. Weiss

University of Northern Iowa, USA

The purpose of this study was to examine changes in sport commitment type over the course of one year, and to explore differences between athletes with various types of commitment on injury and rehabilitation behaviors. At Time 1, a total of 161 Division I collegiate athletes participated in this study, with 108 athletes participating at Time 2. Using cluster analyses, four profiles emerged at Time 1: attracted, entrapped, average, and low committed. At Time 2, four profiles also emerged: attracted, pseudo-entrapped, indifferent, and low committed. A total of 68% of the athletes changed types of commitment from Time 1 to Time 2. No differences emerged between the groups at Time 1 or 2 with regards to injury occurrence, however at Time 2 low committed athletes were rated the lowest in regards to rehabilitation behaviors, such as energy, effort, and persistence.

Keywords: Injury predictors, Motivation



Stage-specific prediction of physical activity in orthopaedic patients after rehabilitation treatment

Jeanette Jackson */**, Sonia Lippke *** and Colin D. Gray *

(*) University of Aberdeen, UK
(**) Freie Universität Berlin, German
(***) Jacobs University Bremen, Germany

Stage transitions were studied in order to clarify the social-cognitive processes in the initiation and maintenance of physical activity in 510 orthopaedic rehabilitation patients. Stages and social-cognitive variables were assessed at the beginning of rehabilitation and stages were measured again four weeks later. Multinomial logistic regression models were used to investigate several theory-driven hypotheses. Results show that non-intenders are more likely to progress to the intentional stage if they perceive high pros (OR=4.62, p<.05). They are more likely progress to the actor stage and initiate physical activity if they perceive higher risk of negative effects of relapse, such as the likelihood of suffering from chronic pain (OR=2.12, p<.10) and if they report more goals (OR=2.49, p<.05). Intenders become physically active if they perceive more social support (OR=3.67, p<.05) and report higher self-efficacy (OR=2.23, p<.05). Patients, who are already physically active, are more likely to regress to the intentional stage if they report higher cons/barriers (OR=2.32, p<.05) and lower self-efficacy (OR=0.27, p<.01). It is concluded that stage-specific determinants of stage transition have been found. To increase the effectiveness of rehabilitation, treatments should be tailored to patients’ stage-specific needs.

Keywords: Assessment, Health Action Process Approach, Medical rehabilitation, Stage theories, Stage transition