An investigation of athletes’ and coaches’ perceptions of mental ill-health in elite athletes

Biggin, Isobelle J.R., Burns, J. and Uphill, M. A. (2017) An investigation of athletes’ and coaches’ perceptions of mental ill-health in elite athletes. Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology, 11 (2). pp. 126-147. ISSN 1932-9261.

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Research suggests elite athletes have an equal, or in some circumstances possibly higher, probability of developing mental ill health as the general population, however understanding of these issues amongst athletes and coaches remains largely unknown. The perceptions of mental health problems amongst 19 elite athletes and 16 coaches were explored using two concurrent, three round Delphi surveys and the responses compared. Athletes and coaches expressed different opinions and experiences of mental ill health amongst elite athletes. However, both felt the pressure athletes place upon themselves is a significant contributing factor and that obsessional compulsive tendencies and anxiety may be particularly prevalent. Whilst associated stigma was thought to be a barrier to support seeking, both groups felt sport and clinical psychologists would provide the most appropriate support, with coaches playing an important signposting role. Implications for athletes, coaches, clinical and sport psychologists are explored and suggestions for future research are presented.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Elite; athlete; coach; mental ill health; Delphi
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0636 Applied psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0076.5 Psychology research
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV0706 Sports psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > School of Psychology, Politics and Sociology
Depositing User: Prof Jan Burns
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2017 08:49
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2017 22:08

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00