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

Journal article


Biggin, I., Burns, J. and Uphill, M. 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. https://doi.org/10.1123/jcsp.2016-0017
AuthorsBiggin, I., Burns, J. and Uphill, M.
Abstract

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.

KeywordsElite; athlete; coach; mental ill health; Delphi
Year2017
JournalJournal of Clinical Sport Psychology
Journal citation11 (2), pp. 126-147
PublisherHuman Kinetics
ISSN1932-9261
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1123/jcsp.2016-0017
Publication dates
Online01 Jun 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited19 Apr 2017
Accepted01 Mar 2017
Accepted author manuscript
Output statusPublished
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Antecedents of emotions in elite athletes: a cognitive motivational relational theory perspective
Uphill, M. and Jones, M. 2007. Antecedents of emotions in elite athletes: a cognitive motivational relational theory perspective. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport. 78 (2), pp. 79-89.
Responses to the competitive state anxiety inventory-2(d) by athletes in anxious and excited scenarios
Jones, M. and Uphill, M. 2004. Responses to the competitive state anxiety inventory-2(d) by athletes in anxious and excited scenarios. Psychology of Sport and Exercise. 5 (2), pp. 201-212. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1469-0292(02)00054-7
Development and validation of the Sport Emotion Questionnaire
Jones, M., Lane, A., Bray, S., Uphill, M. and Catlin, J. 2005. Development and validation of the Sport Emotion Questionnaire. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology. 27 (4), pp. 407-431.
Predicting race performance in triathlon: the role of perfectionism, achievement goals, and personal goal setting
Stoeber, J., Uphill, M. and Hotham, S. 2009. Predicting race performance in triathlon: the role of perfectionism, achievement goals, and personal goal setting. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology. 31 (2), pp. 211-245.
'When running is something you dread': a cognitive-behavioural intervention to assist a club runner regulate pre-competitive anxiety
Uphill, M. and Jones, M. 2007. 'When running is something you dread': a cognitive-behavioural intervention to assist a club runner regulate pre-competitive anxiety. in: Lane, A. (ed.) Mood and Human Performance: Conceptual, Measurement and Applied Issues New York Nova Science Publishers. pp. 271-295