A longitudinal examination of mental health and well-being of individuals working in performance sport

Brendan Cropley, Paul Sellars, Stephen Mellalieu, Rich Neil, Chris Wagstaff, Ross Wadey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Building on an emerging interest in the welfare of those responsible for facilitating the performance of athletes (e.g.,Hings, Wagstaff, Anderson, Gilmore, & Thelwell, 2017; Neil, McFarlane, & Smith, 2016), this study longitudinally examined the well-being and mental health of coach and sport science staff operating within performance sport. Participants (n =17; M age = 30.53, SD = 5.27) were sampled from UK and European performance departments and completed a bimonthly online survey across a 12 month period. Measures included the Wellbeing Process Questionnaire (Williams &Smith, 2012) and Questionnaire for Eudaimonic Well-being(Waterman et al., 2010). Preliminary analysis indicated changes over time in job stress and feeling in control of work as well as a consistently high prevalence of participants having difficulties in withdrawing from work demands.Positive influences on well-being included a good work life balance, time spent with family and friends, recognition and appreciation from work colleagues, and a good working environment. Negative factors included an unhealthy work-life balance, poor working relationships, excessive workload, and a lack of support in the work environment. The findings provide insight into the dynamic nature of, and challenges to, the well being of individuals working in performance environments. Specifically, the discrepancy between desired and current work-life balance, and the perceived lack of support received within the work environment. Consequently, it is proposed that supervisors of sport performance support teams need to consider: (a) staff workload; (b) the level of support offered to manage this workload; and (c) deployment of strategies to equip staff with the necessary resources to cope with the demands of operating in performance environments.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAssociation for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) Annual Conference 2018 Toronto, Canada October 3-6
Subtitle of host publicationConference Abstracts
Place of PublicationIndianapolis, IN
PublisherAssociation for Applied Sport Psychology
ISBN (Print) 978-0-9855310-8-9
Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2018
EventAssociation for Applied Sport Psychology 2018 Annual Conference - Toronto, Canada
Duration: 3 Oct 20186 Oct 2018
Conference number: 33rd


ConferenceAssociation for Applied Sport Psychology 2018 Annual Conference
Abbreviated titleAASP2018


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