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Mood, family process and life experience in intensively training young athletes

Rowley, Stephen R.W.; (1996) Mood, family process and life experience in intensively training young athletes. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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The purpose of this thesis was to examine how participation in intensive sports training affected the risk of depressive disorder in a randomly selected group of young athletes. The possible adverse effects of intensive training upon the physical and psychological development of the young athlete have become of increasing concern. In general little is known about the psychological effects of early involvement in sport. Despite this paucity of knowledge there has been considerable concern that young athletes are more at risk of emotional problems. The data for this investigation were part of a general population survey designed to monitor the effect of intensive training on a sample of highly trained young athletes. A country-wide randomly selected group of 453 young athletes aged from 9 to 18 years, from four different sports - football, gymnastics, swimming and tennis - were assessed and then monitored for two consecutive years. In addition a group of children (n = 471) were drawn from the general population for comparative purposes. All completed the Depression Self Rating Scale for Children (DSRS), the Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scale (FACES II) and the Great Ormond Street Self Image Profile (GOSSIP). An empirical analysis revealed young athletes had significantly lower levels of depressive symptomatology, higher levels of self esteem and perceived their families to be closer and more cohesive than children from the comparison population. Further analysis indicated children from the comparison population were over 9 times more likely to have low self esteem and high depression scores than children involved in intensive training. Longitudinal data analysis investigated the stability of these findings over time and showed the best predictors of Time 2 DSRS scores were a combination of baseline DSRS, global and family self esteem, age and cohesion. In conclusion, strengths and weaknesses of the research design are described in the light of the empirical findings, explanatory models are suggested and implications for future research discussed.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Mood, family process and life experience in intensively training young athletes
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10099366
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