C05 Exploring British student-athletes' receptivity to sport psychology consultation


  • Lasse Daniel Valtteri Eini St. Mary's University Twickenham
  • Jade Salim St. Mary's University Twickenham
  • George Bowra Morris St. Mary's University Twickenham




Student-athlete's receptivity to sport psychology (SP) is a significant contributor to effective SP service delivery. Previous studies among American student-athletes suggests that stigma and negative beliefs, which affect receptivity, remain significant barriers to seeking SP support. However, there is a paucity of research focusing on the British student-athlete population. The aim of this study was to explore how demographic factors affect British student-athletes' receptivity to SP consultation. Following institutional ethics approval, student-athletes (n = 96, 48 males and 48 females) completed a series of demographic questions and the Sport Psychology Attitudes Revised Form (SPAR-R) (25 items answered on a seven-point Likert scale). The survey measured stigma tolerance (Cronbach’s alphas (α) = 0.821), confidence in SP consultation (α = 0.882), personal openness (α = 0.462) and cultural preference (α = 0.534). A one-way multivariate analysis of variance (MANCOVA) was used to examine the relationship between demographic constructs and the SPAR-R responses. Compared to females, males reported significantly higher scores in personal openness (P = 0.44, P < 0.05, mean difference [MD]: 0.54), and cultural preference (P = 0.01, P < 0.05, MD: 0.54). Compared to athletes who compete in a team sport, individual athletes reported significantly higher scores of confidence in SP consultation (P = 0.013, P < 0.05, MD: 0.7). There were no influences of age and level of sporting competition on confidence in SP and cultural preference, respectively (P > 0.05). The results suggest that males and athletes who compete in a team sport may be less receptive towards SP consultation than females and athletes who compete in an individual sport. These results are similar to those found within an American student-athlete population yet provide applied SP practitioners with novel insights into working with British student-athletes. Future research should focus on student-athletes from various ethnic backgrounds and further expand methodological approaches to understanding why demographic factors affect receptivity to SP consultation. In conclusion, these results could inform and encourage practitioners to adopt a tailored approach when providing SP consultation to persons possessing different demographic characteristics.