Psychosocial Impact of COVID-19 on Female Youth Athletes

Authors: Reeti Douglas, Neha Tripathi, Ashley Allen, Cait Ennis, Jessica Judy, Emily Klink, and Jenelle Mrugalski7

Department of Occupational Therapy, Wingate University, Wingate, NC, USA

Corresponding Author:
Reeti Douglas, OTD, OTR/L
102 W. Wilson St
Wingate, NC 28174
r.douglas@wingate.edu
847-800-5229

Reeti Douglas OTD, OTR/L is an Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy at Wingate in Wingate, NC.  Her research interests focus on pediatric and youth sports rehabilitation, pediatric and youth athlete mental health, and pediatric and adolescent hand rehabilitation.

Ashley Allen, Cait Ennis, Jessica Judy, Emily Klink, and Jenelle Mrugalski are doctoral students in the Occupational Therapy program at Wingate University.  Their research interests include pediatrics, mental health, and sports rehabilitation.

Psychosocial Impact of COVID-19 on Female Youth Athletes

ABSTRACT

Purpose: As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, national restrictions were implemented limiting social gatherings and disrupting many facets of everyday life including sports. To gain a better understanding of how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the social and emotional wellbeing of children and adolescents in sports, the present study examined parental perspectives of female youth competitive cheerleaders during the national pandemic.

Methods: A sample of 97 parents of female youth competitive cheerleaders completed an online Qualtrics survey investigating their perspectives on the psychosocial wellbeing of their children during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Results:  Descriptive statistics were used for the quantitative analysis to determine general findings from the survey results.  Results revealed that all age groups (5-18 years old) reported high levels of frustration (≥63.7%) and all age groups reported high levels of feelings of loneliness during the pandemic (≥67.1%). For all age groups, an increased interest in watching television or playing video games was reported as high (≥66.6%).

Conclusions: Findings suggest that as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, female youth competitive cheerleaders experienced high levels of frustration and loneliness and spent more time engaging in sedentary activities rather than participating in active sports-related functions and practices.

Applications in Sports: This study found that the impacts of COVID-19 on the psychosocial wellbeing of youth athletes includes increased levels of frustration and loneliness, which can be attributed to decreased participation in sports. The findings of this study provides data to support the importance of addressing psychosocial needs with female youth athletes and addressing the benefits of sports for leisure occupation and social participation. Implications of this study can be applied to healthcare professions and athletic departments to guide future research and programs regarding sports and youth. 

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2022-05-19T08:04:23-05:00May 20th, 2022|Research, Sports Studies and Sports Psychology|Comments Off on Psychosocial Impact of COVID-19 on Female Youth Athletes

Differences in psychological skills in ultraendurance athletes and endurance athletes

Authors: Megan Meckfessel and Lindsay Ross-Stewart

Department of Applied Health, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Edwardsville, IL, USA

Corresponding Author:
Lindsay Ross-Stewart
Department of Applied Health
Campus Box 1126
Edwardsville, Illinois 62026-1126
(618) 650-2410

Megan Meckfessel, MS, is a Cross Country Coach, trainer, and Community Health Coach in O’Fallon Il. She is a marathon and ultra-distance runner.

Lindsay Ross-Stewart, PhD is an Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Health and the Director of Mental Performance for the Intercollegiate Athletics Department at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Her research focuses on the role of self-efficacy in athletic performance.

Differences in psychological skills in ultraendurance athletes and endurance athletes

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to investigate the differences in self-efficacy, self-motivation, and mood between ultraendurance athletes and endurance athletes. Forty-six endurance athletes and fifty-six ultraendurance athletes completed the Profile of Mood States, General Self-Efficacy Scale and Self-Motivation Inventory. The results of a MANOVA with sport type (endurance versus ultraendurance) as the independent variable and the total scores on all psychological variables and the subscales for self-motivation, mood, and self-efficacy as the dependent variables revealed a significant difference between endurance and ultraendurance athletes. The results indicated that ultraendurance athletes had higher overall motivation compared to endurance athletes. They also had higher scores for both drive and persistence. There were no differences between the groups for self- efficacy or mood. The results indicate that motivation may be the primary psychological factor differentiating between ultraendurance and endurance athletes. From an applied perspective it may be that athletes looking to make the leap from endurance sports to ultraendurance sports should focus on applied techniques for increasing motivation.

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2022-05-03T13:16:43-05:00May 6th, 2022|Research, Sports Health & Fitness|Comments Off on Differences in psychological skills in ultraendurance athletes and endurance athletes

The Salivary Alpha-Amylase Response to Moderate Intensity Trap Bar Deadlift

Authors: Asher L. Flynn1, Jeremy Gentles2,Tyler Langford1

1Department of Sport and Exercise Science, Lincoln Memorial University, Harrogate, TN, USA
2Department of Sport, Exercise, Recreation, and Kinesiology, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN, USA

Corresponding Author:
Asher L. Flynn, PhD, CSCS
117 Leopard Ln
Cumberland Gap, TN
AsherLFlynn@gmail.com
4178278827

Asher L Flynn, PhD, CSCS is an Assistant Professor of Exercise Science at Lincoln Memorial University, TN. His research interests focus on fatigue and athlete monitoring in colligate athletes, and aspects of women’s soccer performance.

Jeremy Gentles, PhD, CSCS is currently faculty member at East Tennessee State University, TN.  Jeremy’s areas of research interest include the biochemical response to exercise and sport technology.

Tyler Langford, PhD, is currently faculty member at Lincoln Memorial University, TN. Tyler’s areas of research interest include exercise testing and prescription for special populations (incomplete spinal cord injury and older adults) as well as the use of effort perception for exercise prescription.

The Salivary Alpha-Amylase Response to Moderate Intensity Trap Bar Deadlift

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to investigate the salivary alpha-amylase response to a moderate intensity, moderate volume resistance training protocol. In order to investigate this response, pre-exercise and post-exercise saliva samples were collected from 16 female collegiate soccer players during a team resistance training session with the strength and condition staff. Results: The saliva analysis revealed a significant increase in salivary alpha-amylase concentrations from pre- to post-exercise; 54.7 ± 34.7 U/mL, 100.6 ± 55.1; p = 0.002; d = 0.908; 95% CI: 0.31 – 1.48. These results indicated that a moderate intensity, moderate volume training protocol will elicit an increase in salivary alpha-amylase. Sport scientists and coaches are continually improving their ability to monitor the stress, and the athlete’s response to these stressors. Salivary alpha-amylase is a promising candidate as a rapid, non-invasive method of indicating the magnitude of stress associated with resistance training.

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2022-04-20T10:13:07-05:00April 22nd, 2022|Research, Sports Health & Fitness|Comments Off on The Salivary Alpha-Amylase Response to Moderate Intensity Trap Bar Deadlift

Stressors Associated with Professional Australian Rules Football Athletes Across a Competitive Season

Authors: Billymo Rist1, Anthea C Clarke1, Tony Glynn2, Alan J. Pearce1
1 School of Allied Health, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Melbourne, AUSTRALIA
2 Fit Mind Consulting, Spencer Street, West Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia

Corresponding Author:
Billymo Rist
School of Allied Health, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Melbourne, AUSTRALIA
Email: brist@latrobe.edu.au
Ph: +61 400392964

Billymo Rist is a PhD Candidate at La Trobe University in Melbourne Australia. His Research interests include biomarkers, stress, psychology of performance and neuroscience of sport and injury

Anthea Clarke, PhD, is a lecturer in sport and exercise science in the Department of Dietetics, Human Nutrition, and Sport at La Trobe University, Australia. Her research interests include applied sport science and application to team sports, and female athlete physiology.

Tony Glynn MPsych is a Performance and Clinical Psychologist with 20 years’ experience. Tony is currently performance psychologist for the Melbourne Vixens Netball Team, Victorian Sailing Team, and Tennis Australia and clinical psychologist at the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne.

Alan J Pearce PhD is an adjunct associate professor at La Trobe University, Melbourne Australia and Director of NeuroSports Labs, Melbourne. Alan has an interest in the neuroscience of exercise and sport and injury, with over 200 publications across neurophysiology, exercise physiology and psychology of exercise.

Stressors Associated with Professional Australian Rules Football Athletes Across a Competitive Season

Abstract

Objective: This study explored psychophysiological stress in professional Australian Rules football athletes across the course of one competitive season.

Methods: A sample of eight players listed with one professional Australian football club participated in this study. Each week during the competitive season (22 weeks), players self-reported their general fatigue and sleep using a paper-based scale, as well as providing a salivary cortisol measure. Testing occurred 48-hours after competition. Participants’ weekly performance rating scores based on a points system metric of players’ data obtained during competitive matches were also recorded by the club each week.

Results: A significant inverse relationship was observed between cortisol and performance ratings, sleep and fatigue, and sleep and performance ratings. There was a significant predictive relationship observed, with cortisol levels and performance rankings (R2 = .35, F (6,74) = 7.06, p<.001). There was no significant relationship between performance and fatigue or performance and sleep.

Conclusions: This study shows a significant relationship between performance outcomes and psychophysiological stress in professional Australian football players. Professional clubs should look towards objective assessment protocols to measure athlete psychological stress to enhance current practice of self-report stress measures.

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2022-04-07T09:52:49-05:00April 15th, 2022|Research, Sports Health & Fitness|Comments Off on Stressors Associated with Professional Australian Rules Football Athletes Across a Competitive Season

The Influence of COVID-19 Upon Perceptions Of Parent Identity and Role Among Youth Sport Spectators

Authors: Jerry F. Reynolds II, Kristin E. Trainor, and Matt Moore

Department of Social Work,  Ball State University, Muncie, IN, USA

Corresponding Author:
Jerry F. Reynolds II, PhD, LMSW
1613 W. Riverside Ave
Muncie, IN 47304
jfreynolds@bsu.edu
765-285-1015

Jerry F. Reynolds II, PhD, LMSW is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at Ball State University in Muncie, IN. His research interests focus on family dynamics and parenting experiences in youth sport settings.

Kristin E. Trainor, PhD, LCSW is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at Ball State University.  Her research areas of interest include exploration of family dynamics and barriers to service provision in therapeutic settings.

Matt E. Moore is Chair and Associate Professor of Social Work at Ball State University. His research focuses upon the integration of social work principles in sport-based settings.

The Influence of COVID-19 Upon Perceptions of Parent Identity and Role Among Youth Sport Spectators

ABSTRACT

Parent experiences in youth sport settings during the COVID-19 pandemic are a notable and understudied phenomenon. Parents had varied experiences as a result of safety mandates and protocols that limited physical presence and engagement in their child’s sports activities. These limitations proved to be an emotional challenge for parents – balancing the responsibilities of protecting the safety of their families and providing sports experiences to promote both normalcy and acquire the life skills gained from sports participation in a fluid environment. In some instances, parents engaged in virtual spectating experiences which sought to minimize physical risks associated with COVID-19, but also did not require their physical presence to participate. Research on the virtual experience of parents is novel and from a sample of 112 parents across youth sport sectors in 18 states   how the spectating modality influenced parental roles and identities was examined. Virtual spectating experiences reflected many challenges for parents, but also prompted much gratitude for allowing continued engagement in their child’s sports activities. This exploratory research prompts larger questions urging sport-based professionals to examine the influences of spectating modalities on experiences of parents. The authors captured retrospective parent reactions to their personal spectating experience and generated a grounded theory diagram to demonstrate relationships between factors shaping the parent identity and role in this context. Implications for sport-based professionals are discussed.

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2022-04-01T08:27:43-05:00April 1st, 2022|Research, Sports Studies and Sports Psychology|Comments Off on The Influence of COVID-19 Upon Perceptions Of Parent Identity and Role Among Youth Sport Spectators
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