A longitudinal examination of stressors, appraisals, and coping in youth swimming
Mellalieu, Stephen D.
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Purpose Involvement in sport has the potential to cause athletes, coaches, and parents to experience stress. However, the extent to which experiences of stress are shared within the athletic triad is unknown. The purpose of this study was to examine the individual and shared stress experiences among youth swimmers, their mothers, and coach within the context of training, tapering, and competition. Design Multi-case study design. Method Four female swimmers, their mother, and one coach completed daily diaries for six weeks and up to three semi-structured interviews. Data were analyzed through within- and cross-case thematic analysis. Results The study showed evidence of shared stress experiences between all three members of the athletic triad. Participants predominately encountered organizational stressors, which they appraised in relation to movements between squad, interpersonal relationships, and overall progress towards performance goals/outcomes. Numerous coping strategies were employed by participants, with varying degrees of effectiveness, such as seeking social support, distancing, and lift sharing. The coping strategies used by coaches, swimmers, and parents were often interrelated with participants frequently seeking emotional support from one another. The majority of stressors and appraisals cited by parents and swimmers were shared, with both heavily relying on social support to help each other cope with the stressors encountered. Conclusion Athletes, parents, and coaches have the capacity to influence one another's stress experiences and as such their experiences should be considered simultaneously to maximize the impact of interventions.
Psychology of Sport and Exercise;
Hayward, F.P., Knight, C.J. and Mellalieu, S.D. (2017) 'A longitudinal examination of stressors, appraisals, and coping in youth swimming', Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 29, pp.56-68.
This article was published in Psychology of Sport and Exercise on 06 December 2016 (online), available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.2016.12.002
Cardiff Metropolitan University (Grant ID: Cardiff Metropolian (Internal))
- Sport Research Groups 
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/legalcode
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