From pope to hope: The first twenty years of ISSP

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Morris, Tony, Hackfort, Dieter and Lidor, Ronnie (2003) From pope to hope: The first twenty years of ISSP. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology , 1 (2). pp. 119-138. ISSN 1612-197X (print) 1557-251X (online)


The aim of this ISSP‐sponsored project was to document the first 20 years of the International Society of Sport Psychology (ISSP), from its creation in 1965, as seen by a number of early leaders of ISSP, who were intimately involved. We also consulted a range of documentary evidence. We interviewed five senior officers, three of whom had been Presidents, one who had been a Vice President, and one who was General Secretary, during a substantial part of the period in question. We also examined minutes of Managing Council meetings and General Assemblies, statutes, the International Journal of Sport Psychology, and several books and papers that provide commentaries on aspects of the early history of ISSP. We identified six aspects for discussion, namely, the creation of ISSP, the management of ISSP during the period, activities of ISSP from 1965 to 1985, publications produced by ISSP, relationships of ISSP with other organizations, and problems that confronted ISSP between 1965 and 1985. Interviews and documentary evidence frequently provided consistent information, but occasionally there were contradictions. Interviewees sometimes presented different memories of the same event. Some information was not accessible to us. The account that emerged also left unanswered explanations of why certain decisions were made. Overall, this paper does provide a range of insights into key aspects of the first 20 years of ISSP, including its failures, as well as its successes.

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Item type Article
Official URL
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1701 Psychology
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Centre for Ageing, Rehabilitation, Exercise & Sport Science (CARES)
Keywords sport psychology, documentary, history
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