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Service-Delivery Expertise in Student Sport Psychologists

Tod, David (2006) Service-Delivery Expertise in Student Sport Psychologists. PhD thesis, Victoria University.

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Abstract

The major foci of this PhD were to examine factors that influence neophyte applied sport and exercise psychologists' development as service providers. The specific aim of Study 1 was to explore the educational experiences perceived to contribute to service delivery competence from the viewpoints of educators and recent graduates of Australian applied sport and exercise psychology programmes. Graduates (8 females, 8 males, ranging in age from 24 to 46 years) and 11 academics (5 males, 6 females, varying in age from 33 to 52 years) of Australian masters programmes in applied psychology (sport and exercise) were interviewed. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, and thematically content analysed. Research credibility was enhanced by data source, analyst, and theoretical triangulation. Participants believed (a) practicing service delivery; (b) interactions among fellow students, teachers, and supervisors; and (d) specific events prior to and outside of training contributed to service delivery competence. Although research and theory was perceived to assist athlete collaboration, they were not as valued as practicing service delivery. The aim of Study 2 was to investigate the intricacies of how athletes and neophyte consultants experienced their working relationships. Trainee consultants (4 females, 3 males, ranging in age from 22 to 32 years) met with an athlete (4 males, 3 females, varying from 19 to 29 years of age) on 3 occasions. After Sessions 1 and 3, I interviewed participants about their relationships with each other. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, and thematically content analysed. Research credibility was enhanced via data source, analyst, and theoretical triangulation. Generally, participants formed positive interpersonal bonds with each other during the three sessions. There were variations among the dyads to the extent that clear service ii delivery goals and tasks were negotiated. Across the dyads, some working alliance strains arose but did not prevent the neophyte practitioners and athletes from collaborating. Incidences of transference and countertransference also occurred. The specific aim of Study 3 was to describe and compare novice applied sport and exercise psychologists' and athlete clients' reported in-session self-talk. The individuals from Study 2 also participated in Study 3. Sessions 1 and 3 were videotaped and later watched by participants, who also completed thought listing exercises to reproduce their self-talk. The data were categorized according to six dimensions: time, place, focus, locus, orientation, and mode. Retrospective accounts provided evidence that trainees' in-session self-talk statements were (a) typically present focused, (b) mostly about in-session material, (c) generally about the athletes or themselves, (d) about both internal and external events, (e) almost always related to the sessions, and (f) either neutral or planning statements. The athlete's retrospective accounts provided evidence that their self-talk statements were (a) typically present focused; (b) mostly about in-session material; (c) generally about themselves, and to a lesser extent, the consultants; (d) about both internal and external events; (e) almost always related to the sessions; and (f) largely neutral. The inter-rater reliabilities across the 6 dimensions were above 80%. The specific aim of Study 4 was to gain narrative accounts of applied sport and exercise psychology students' development as service providers during the first two years of their postgraduate studies. The neophyte practitioners (6 females and 3 males, ranging in age from 22 to 32 years) were interviewed three times across years 1 and 2 of their postgraduate studies. Again, interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim, and thematically content analysed. Research credibility was again enhanced via data source, analyst, and theoretical triangulation. Three illustrative iii case examples were developed to represent three clusters that emerged among the nine students. The findings had parallels with therapist development models proposed by counselling psychology researchers, such as the trainees' anxieties regarding their professional competence, the ways they conceptualised service delivery, and the types of supervision relationships they preferred. The current PhD has extended knowledge about trainee applied sport and exercise psychologists' development and client interactions. The results have similarities with counselling psychology research findings. The findings in this PhD provide some evidence that counselling psychology knowledge can be readily adapted to similar aspects of applied sport and exercise psychology practice. The findings have implications for the training of practitioners, such as the types of working alliances athletes prefer, and the ways that trainees might experience anxiety. The results might also assist educators and supervisors in tailoring their efforts to match trainees' needs.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD thesis)
Uncontrolled Keywords: service-delivery; student sport psychologists; educational experiences; educators
Subjects: RFCD Classification > 220000 Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts-General
Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Social Sciences and Psychology
Depositing User: Mr Angeera Sidaya
Date Deposited: 05 May 2006
Last Modified: 23 May 2013 16:38
URI: http://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/417
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