New Zealand athletes' attitudes towards seeking sport psychology consultation

Ailsa Niven, Ken P. Hodge, David Lavallee, Scott B. Martin

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    23 Citations (Scopus)


    The aim of this study was to use the Sport Psychology Attitudes-Revised (SPA-R) questionnaire (Martin, Kellman, Lavallee & Page, 2002) to develop an understanding of the attitudes elite New Zealand athletes (N = 112) hold towards sport psychology so that services can be tailored to accommodate these views. The influence of athlete characteristics such as nationality, gender, age, level of competition achieved, and previous use of sport psychology on attitudes was explored. Further, the SPA-R was used as a measure of attitudes within the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA; Ajzen & Fishbein, 1980) and Theory Planned Behaviour (TPB; Ajzen, 1985, 1991), and integrated with measures of subjective norm and perceived behavioural control to investigate the influence of these variables on predicting athletes' intention to use sport psychology. Results suggested that New Zealand athletes generally held positive attitudes regarding sport psychology, with gender and previous experience of sport psychology significantly influencing attitudes. Regression analyses indicated that the TPB was a better model than the TRA for predicting intention, and the variables predicted 39.7% of variance in intention to use sport psychology. The only SPA-R subscale that contributed significantly was confidence in sport psychology, and perceived behavioural control and subjective norm also contributed significantly. These findings suggest the SPA-R may have limited value in predicting intentions, although the TPB could provide a useful theoretical framework to direct interventions aimed at increasing athletes' intention to use sport psychology.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)129-136
    Number of pages8
    JournalNew Zealand Journal of Psychology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2004


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