Date of Graduation

2000

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

Abstract

The present study examined the interaction of traditional and electronic contact methods with the stages of change model in a brief intervention. The sample consisted of a total of 220 high school (n = 106) and college athletes (n = 114), including 115 in the Electronic Group (E group) and 105 in the Traditional Group (T group). Overall, 14 teams participated in a sport psychology workshop including seven women's teams (n = 124) and seven men's teams (n = 96). Teams were randomly assigned to contact the sport psychology consultant (SPQ either by traditional methods (in-person or phone) or by electronic methods (email or webpage) after the workshop. It was hypothesized that there would be greater amounts of both overall contact and assessments completed in the E group when compared to the T group in the one-month period following the workshop. Modest support for this hypothesis was achieved although low contact rates, particularly in the traditional group limited the power of the analyses. Results provided strong support for the hypothesis that athletes prefer electronic methods to traditional methods for both contacting a SPC and for gathering sport psychology information. Moderate effect sizes ( d = .50–.95) generally supported the positive impact of the workshop on perceptions of mental training and in inducing positive cognitive shifts. The interaction between athletes using electronic and traditional services for follow-up contact was assessed as well. The interaction was only supported in a couple situations, yet the low contact rates across the entire sample may have negatively affected these analyses. Although the effect sizes were small to moderate for most of the analyses, the study provides a first step in a growing area of service utilization within psychology. Overall results suggest that electronic contact methods are at least equal to, and in several cases superior to, traditional contact methods regarding generating interest and requests for service from athletes. The main practical implications for sport psychology consultants are addressed and the future directions for transtheoretical and alternative media research in applied sport psychology are explored.

Share

COinS