Fighting the system: Psychology consultants’ experiences of working with cases of maltreatment in sport

NEWMAN, James, LICKESS, Adam and HIGHAM, Andrew (2023). Fighting the system: Psychology consultants’ experiences of working with cases of maltreatment in sport. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology.

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The aim of this study was to obtain a nuanced, in-depth insight into sport psychology consultants’ (SPCs’) experiences of working with cases of maltreatment in sport, and their practice recommendations to address this behavior. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with five HCPC-registered SPCs in the UK. Data were analyzed in line with the principles of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Four group experiential themes emerged, centered around the participants searching for meaning, fighting the system, ingrained acceptance, and tackling the problem of maltreatment in sport. Specifically, the participants referred to how the sporting context influenced their understanding of maltreatment. They also discussed the inherent difficulties with reporting this behavior, and a lack of support in this process, whilst also alluding to how sporting institutions normalized abusive practices in pursuit of performance outcomes. To address the issue of maltreatment in sports, the participants discussed a variety of recommendations including organizations being accountable, the need for organizations to be more representative, and for SPCs to work with contextual intelligence. The findings from the present study provide important implications for sporting organizations, SPCs, and the professional bodies who support practitioners around the need to further understand maltreatment in sport, and to tackle this issue. Lay summary: In this study, SPCs shared their experiences of how they understand maltreatment in the sporting context. They also discussed their battles with the sporting system, and how maltreatment can be inherent to sports culture. These findings provide valuable insight into how maltreatment can be tackled in sport.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1106 Human Movement and Sports Sciences; 1701 Psychology; Sport Sciences; 4207 Sports science and exercise; 5201 Applied and developmental psychology; 5203 Clinical and health psychology
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SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2023 11:13
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2023 17:00

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