Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences


Sport and Exercise Psychology

Committee Chair

Damien Clement

Committee Co-Chair

Edward F Etzel

Committee Member

Kelly Knox

Committee Member

Monica Leppma

Committee Member

Sam Zizzi


Psychological skills interventions are often conducted with individual athletes and sports teams in an effort to build mental toughness, prevent injury, or enhance performance. Dancers remain an underserved population in the delivery of sport/performance psychology services, with extremely limited literature addressing college dance students. The dance community has several inherent physical and psychosocial demands, which can promote resilience. However, dancers may also strive to meet these demands by employing unhealthy coping strategies that could be linked to maladaptive appraisals and increased injury risk. The present study examined the impact of a psychological skills intervention program on college dance students' (N = 30) coping skills, pain appraisals, and injuries over a six-week period. A two-group pre-test/post-test quasi-experimental methodology was used to capture the potential influence of the intervention program. At the end of the six-week period, there were no significant differences observed between the treatment and control groups on the three major constructs. In particular, the results demonstrated the need for a single, operational definition of injury within the dance context. A focus group discussion led to several recommendations for future research and improvements for mental skills and life skills intervention programs. Best practices for scholars, applied practitioners, and dance educators are also discussed.