ORIGINAL PAPER
Elite athletes’ mental well-being and life satisfaction: a study of elite athletes’ resilience and social support from an Asian unrecognised National Olympic Committee
 
More details
Hide details
1
University of Saint Joseph, Macau, China
Submission date: 2020-12-23
Final revision date: 2021-05-16
Acceptance date: 2021-05-18
Online publication date: 2021-06-28
Publication date: 2021-06-28
 
 
KEYWORDS
TOPICS
ABSTRACT
Introduction:
This study aimed to investigate elite athletes’ mental well-being, and to ascertain whether the personal factor resilience and the social factor social support can play a role in promoting mental well-being and life satisfaction. In addition, this is one of the first studies to investigate well-being among elite athletes who are from a region belonging to an unrecognised National Olympic Committee and are not eligible to join the Olympic Games.

Material and methods:
Eighty-four full-time elite athletes (37 males, 47 females) with mean age of 22.36 years old participated in this quantitative research study. Formal letters describing the purpose and organiser of the study were sent to the sport entities in Macao asking their permission for the researchers to contact the elite athletes to participate in this study. After gaining the permission, the elite athletes belonging to these entities were approached individually, to inform them of the purpose of the study and receive their consent.

Results:
Regression revealed that emotional support and adaptability of resilience were strong positive predictors of mental well-being. Additionally, mental well-being was found to be a strong positive predictor of life satisfaction. The results reflected that in elite athletes possessing high adaptability and receiving more emotional support could help to maintain their mental well-being.

Conclusions:
Implications (based on the findings) are discussed in order to provide insights for policy makers or coaches how to promote elite athletes’ mental well-being.

 
REFERENCES (65)
1.
APA (2018). The road of resilience. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/helpcenter....
 
2.
Andreato, L. V., Coimbra, D. R., & Andrade, A. (2020). Challenges to athletes during the home confinement caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Strength and Conditioning Journal, 42, 1–5. https://doi.org/10.1519/SSC.00....
 
3.
Bao, X., Pang, W., Shi, M., & Ji, M. (2013). Life satisfaction and mental health in Chinese adults. Social Behavior and Personality, 41, 1597–1604. https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.20....
 
4.
Berg, B. K., & Warner, S. (2019). Advancing college athlete development via social support. Journal of Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics, 12, 87–113.
 
5.
Bird, S. P. (2013). Sleep, recovery, and athletic performance. Strength and Conditioning Journal, 35, 43–47. https://doi.org/10.1519/ssc.0b....
 
6.
Bishop, S. R., Lau, M., & Shapiro, S. L. (2004). Mindfulness: a proposed operational definition. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 11, 230–241. https://doi.org/10.1093/clipsy....
 
7.
Cambridge English Dictionary (n.d.). Athlete. Retrieved from https://dictionary.cambridge.o....
 
8.
Carson, F., & Polman, R. (2012). Experiences of professional rugby union players returning to competition following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. Physical Therapy in Sport, 13, 35–40. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ptsp....
 
9.
Cherry, K., & Gans, S. (2019). Social support is imperative for health and well-being. Retrieved from https://www.verywellmind.com/s....
 
10.
Cohen, S., & Wills, T. A. (1985). Stress, social support, and the buffering hypothesis. Psychological Bulletin, 98, 310–357. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2....
 
11.
Diener, E. D., Emmons, R. A., Larsen, R. J., & Griffin, S. (1985). The Satisfaction with Life Scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49, 71–75. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327....
 
12.
Fergusson, D. M., Mcleod, G. F., Horwood, L. J., Swain, N. R., Chapple, S., & Poulton, R. (2015). Life satisfaction and mental health problems (18 to 35 years). Psychological Medicine, 45, 2427–2436. https://doi.org/10.1017/s00332....
 
13.
Festinger, L. (1957). A theory of cognitive dissonance (Vol. 2). Stanford University Press.
 
14.
Fletcher, D., & Sarkar, M. (2012). A grounded theory of psychological resilience in Olympic champions. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 13, 669–678. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psyc....
 
15.
Folkman, S., Lazarus, R. S., Dunkel-Schetter, C., DeLongis, A., & Gruen, R. J. (1986). Dynamics of a stressful encounter: Cognitive appraisal, coping, and encounter outcomes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 50, 992–1003. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3....
 
16.
Freeman, P., Coffee, P., Moll, T., Rees, T., & Sammy, N. (2014). The ARSQ: The Athletes’ Received Support Questionnaire. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 36, 189–202. https://doi.org/10.1123/jsep.2....
 
17.
Fredrickson, B. L., Tugade, M. M., Waugh, C. E., & Larkin, G. R. (2003). What good are positive emotions in crisis? A prospective study of resilience and emotions following the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11th, 2001. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 84, 365–376. https://doi.org/10.1037//0022-....
 
18.
Galanakis, M., Lakioti, A., Pezirkianidis, C., Karakasidou, E., & Stalikas, A. (2017). Reliability and validity of the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS) in a Greek sample. The International Journal of Humanities & Social Studies, 5, 120–127.
 
19.
Galli, N., & Vealey, R. S. (2008). “Bouncing back” from adversity: Athletes’ experiences of resilience. The Sport Psychologist, 22, 316–335. https://doi.org/10.1123/tsp.22....
 
20.
Gheshlagh, R. G., Sayehmiri, K., Ebadi, A., Dalvandi, A., Dalvand, S., Maddah, S. S., & Tabrizi, K. N. (2016). The relationship between mental health and resilience: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal, 19, e13537. https://doi.org/10.5812/ircmj.....
 
21.
Green, S. L., & Weinberg, R. S. (2001). Relationships among athletic identity, coping skills, social support, and the psychological impact of injury in recreational participants. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 73, 40–59. https://doi.org/10.1080/104132....
 
22.
Hawkins, B., Foose, A. K., & Binkley, A. L. (2004). Contribution of leisure to the life satisfaction of older adults in Australia and the United States. World Leisure Journal, 46, 4–12. https://doi.org/10.1080/044190....
 
23.
Henrich, G., & Herschbach, P. (2000). Questions on Life Satisfaction (FLZM) – a short questionnaire for assessing subjective quality of life. European Journal of Psychological Assessing, 16, 150–159.
 
25.
Hong Kong Sport Institute (2019). Road to becoming an elite athlete. Retrieved from https://www.hksi.org.hk/tc/sup....
 
26.
Hosseini, S. A., & Besharat, M. A. (2010). Relation of resilience whit sport achievement and mental health in a sample of athletes. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 5, 633–638. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbsp....
 
27.
Hu, T., Zhang, D., & Wang, J. (2015). A meta-analysis of the trait resilience and mental health. Personality and Individual Differences, 76, 18–27. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid....
 
28.
Hughes, L., & Leavey, G. (2012). Setting the bar: Athletes and vulnerability to mental illness. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 200, 95–96. https://doi.org/10.1192/bjp.bp....
 
29.
International Olympic Committees (1996). Olympic Charter. Retrieved from https://stillmed.olympic.org/D....
 
30.
International Olympic Committees (2019). National Olympic Committees. Retrieved from https://www.olympic.org/nation....
 
31.
Katagami, E., & Tsuchiya, H. (2016). Effects of social support on athletes’ psychological well-being: The correlations among received support, perceived support, and personality. Psychology, 7, 1741–1752. https://doi.org/10.4236/psych.....
 
32.
Kelle, O., & Irak, D. U. (2018). Resilience as a mediator between affect, coping styles, support and life satisfaction. Life Skill Journal of Psychology, 2, 73–86.
 
33.
Kim, H. Y. (2013). Statistical notes for clinical researchers: Assessing normal distribution (2) using skewness and kurtosis. Restorative Dentistry & Endodontics, 38, 52–54. https://doi.org/10.5395/rde.20....
 
34.
Kroshus, E. (2016). Variability in institutional screening practices related to collegiate student-athlete mental health. Journal of Athletic Training, 51, 389–397. https://doi.org/10.4085/1062-6....
 
35.
Lombardo, P., Jones, W., Wang, L., Shen, X., & Goldner, E. M. (2018). The fundamental association between mental health and life satisfaction: Results from successive waves of a Canadian national survey. BMC Public Health, 18, 342. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889....
 
36.
Lu, F. J., Lee, W. P., Chang, Y. K., Chou, C. C., Hsu, Y. W., Lin, J. H., & Gill, D. L. (2016). Interaction of athletes’ resilience and coaches’ social support on the stress-burnout relationship: a conjunctive moderation perspective. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 22, 202–209. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psyc....
 
37.
Luthar, S. S., Cicchetti, D., & Becker, B. (2000). The construct of resilience: a critical evaluation and guidelines for future work. Child Development, 71, 543–562. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8....
 
38.
Macao Special Administrative Region Government Sports Bureau (2019). Training subsidy program for elite athletes. Retrieved from https://www.sport.gov.mo/zh/ma....
 
39.
Macao Sport Bureau (2021). Training subsidy program for elite athletes. Retrieved from https://www.sport.gov.mo/en/ma....
 
40.
Malinauskas, R. (2008). College athletes’ perception of social support provided by their head coach before injury and after it. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, 48, 107–112.
 
41.
McLoughlin, E., Fletcher, D., Slavich, G. M., Arnold, R., & Moore, L. J. (2021). Cumulative lifetime stress exposure, depression, anxiety, and well-being in elite athletes: a mixed-method study. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 52, 101823. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psyc....
 
42.
Mehrsafar, A. H., Gazerani, P., Zadeh, A. M., & Sánchez, J. C. J. (2020). Addressing potential impact of COVID-19 pandemic on physical and mental health of elite athletes. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 87, 147–148. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbi.....
 
43.
Meyer, C., Rumpf, H., Hapke, U., & John, U. (2004). Impact of psychiatric disorders in the general population: Satisfaction with life and the influence of comorbidity and disorder duration. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 39, 435–441. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00127... 0755-3.
 
44.
Neff, K. D. (2003). Self-compassion: an alternative conceptualization of a healthy attitude toward oneself. Self and Identity, 2, 85–102. https://doi.org/10.1080/152988....
 
45.
Olympic Council of Asia (2018). Medal table. Retrieved from http://www.ocasia.org/MedalTal....
 
46.
Political Geography Now (2018). Parade of nations: Which countries are (and aren’t) in the Olympics? (PyeongChang 2018). Retrieved from https://www.polgeonow.com/2012....
 
47.
Pritchard, M., & Wilson, G. (2005). Comparing sources of stress in college student athletes and non-athletes. Athletic Insight: The Online Journal of Sports Psychology, 5, 1–8.
 
48.
Rees, T., & Hardy, L. (2000). An investigation of the social support experiences of high-level sports performers. The Sport Psychologist, 14, 327–347. https://doi.org/10.1123/tsp.14....
 
49.
Rees, T., & Hardy, L. (2004). Matching social support with stressors: Effects on factors underlying performance in tennis. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 5, 319–337. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1469-....
 
50.
Reardon, C. L., Hainline, B., Aron, C. M., Baron, D., Baum, A. L., Bindra, A., Budgett, R., Campriani, N., Castaldelli-Maia, J. M., Currie, A., Derevensky, J. L., Glick, I. D., Gorczynski, P., Gouttebarge, V., Grandner, M. A., Han, D. H., McDuff, D., Mountjoy, M., Polat, A., Purcell, R., … Engebretsen, L. (2019). Mental health in elite athletes: International Olympic Committee consensus statement (2019). British Journal of Sports Medicine, 53, 667–699. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjspor....
 
51.
Rice, S. M., Purcell, R., Silva, S. D., Mawren, D., Mcgorry, P. D., & Parker, A. G. (2016). The mental health of elite athletes: a narrative systematic review. Sports Medicine, 46, 1333–1353. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279....
 
52.
Ryff, C. D., & Singer, B. (2003). Flourishing under fire: Resilience as a prototype of challenged thriving. In C. L. M. Keyes & J. Haidt (Eds.), Flourishing: Positive psychology and the life well-lived (pp. 15–36). APA.
 
53.
Ryska, T. A., & Yin, Z. (1999). Testing the buffering hypothesis: Perceptions of coach support and pre-competitive anxiety among male and female high school athletes. Current Psychology, 18, 381–393. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144....
 
54.
Santos, A. L. (2013). Quality of life in professional, semi professional, and amateur athletes. Sage Open, 3, 1–8. https://doi.org/10.1177/215824....
 
55.
Schapir, L., Zalsman, G., Hasson-Ohayon, I., Gaziel, M., Morag-Yaffe, M., Sever, J., Weizman, A., & Shoval, G. (2016). Suicide, satisfaction with life, and insight capacity among adolescents with mental disorders: a preliminary study. Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention, 37, 347–352. https://doi.org/10.1027/0227-5....
 
56.
Schinke, R. J., Peterson, C., & Couture, R. (2004). A protocol for teaching resilience to high performance athletes. Journal of Excellence, 9, 9–18.
 
57.
Schinke, R. J., Stambulova, N. B., Si, G., & Moore, Z. (2018). International society of sport psychology position stand: Athletes’ mental health, performance, and development. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 16, 622–639. https://doi.org/10.1080/161219....
 
58.
Taormina, R. J. (2015). Adult personal resilience: a new theory, new measure, and practical implications. Psychological Thought, 8, 35–46. https://doi.org/10.5964/psyct.....
 
59.
Tennant, R., Hiller, L., Fishwick, R., Platt, S., Joseph, S., Weich, S., Parkinson, J., Secker, J., & Stewart-Brown, S. (2007). The Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale (WEMWBS): Development and UK validation. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 5, 63. https://doi.org/10.1186/1477-7....
 
60.
Van Slingerland, K. J., Durand-Bush, N., & Rathwell, S. (2018). Levels and prevalence of mental health functioning in Canadian university student-athletes. Canadian Journal of Higher Education, 48, 149–168. https://doi.org/10.47678/cjhe.....
 
61.
Weston, N. J. V., Thelwell, R. C., Bond, S., & Hutching, N. V. (2009). Stress and coping in single-handed round-the-world ocean sailing. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 21, 460–474. https://doi.org/10.1080/104132....
 
62.
Wylleman, P. (2019). A developmental and holistic perspective on transiting out of elite sport. In M. H. Anshel, T. A. Petrie, & J. A. Steinfeldt (Eds.), APA handbook of sport and exercise psychology, Vol. 1. Sport psychology (pp. 201–216). APA.
 
63.
Wylleman, P., Alfermann, D., & Lavallee, D. (2004). Career transitions in sport: European perspectives. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 5, 7–20. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1469-....
 
64.
Yazdanshenas Ghazwin, M., Kavian, M., Ahmadloo, M., Jarchi, A., Golchin Javadi, S., Latifi, S., Tavakoli, S. A., & Ghajarzadeh, M. (2016). The association between life satisfaction and the extent of depression, anxiety and stress among Iranian nurses: a multicenter survey. Iranian Journal of Psychiatry, 11, 120–127.
 
65.
Ziaian, T., Anstiss, H. D., Antoniou, G., Baghurst, P., & Sawyer, M. (2012). Resilience and its association with depression, emotional and behavioural problems, and mental health service utilisation among refugee adolescents living in South Australia. International Journal of Population Research, Special Issue, 485956. https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/4....
 
eISSN:2353-5571
ISSN:2353-4184