A comparison of Social Support and Mood between Team and Individual athletes during their transition to university competitive sport.
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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This study aimed to identify whether team or individual sport participation facilitates the transitional experience of moving to university. The second aim was to examine differences between social support patterns of team and individual athletes over the course of a transition to university, identifying changes that occur as a result of this transition. The final aim was to determine which sporting participation (team or individual) elicits more positive mood during transition. To gain firm understanding of social support patterns and mood profiles, a mixed-method approach was employed, including qualitative and quantitative research. Participants (n=10) were first year university students, participating in team (n=5) or individual (n=5) sport. Subjects completed a Profile of Mood States (POMS) questionnaire and Social Support Questionnaire-Short forms (SSQ6) prior to a single, semi-structured interview. POMS results revealed team athletes experienced higher levels of all mood subscales, however only anger and depression proved significantly different (p<0.05). SSQ6 displayed no significant differences in the number of available support sources. However, individuals reported significantly higher levels of support satisfaction in two SSQ6 questions. Interviews revealed changes in independence and commitment as a result of moving to university, finding all participants valued social support in a similar manner. Findings recognise coaches and universities must be better educated within the domain of social support, and made aware of issues student-athletes face when moving to university. Education needs to focus on appropriate types of social support required from student-athletes during transition to university .
DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF SCIENCE (HONOURS) SPORT AND EXERCISE SCIENCE
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