Reducing experiential avoidance: Tennis players' perceptions of an ACT intervention

Dymond, Daniel S. S. (2010). Reducing experiential avoidance: Tennis players' perceptions of an ACT intervention Master's Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

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Author Dymond, Daniel S. S.
Thesis Title Reducing experiential avoidance: Tennis players' perceptions of an ACT intervention
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2010-10-22
Thesis type Master's Thesis
Supervisor Stephanie Hanrahan
Total pages 90
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary Although sport psychology literature has attempted to explain why athletes perform inconsistently, it has not sufficiently examined the process of athletes with regard to how they perceive their own emotions and cognitions. One method of closely examining athletes‟ relationships with their cognitions and emotions is to investigate experiential avoidance in sport. Experiential avoidance is a term that describes unwillingness for humans to remain in contact with an uncomfortable private experience. The purpose of the present study was a) to examine if an acceptance-based approach can reduce experiential avoidance in competitive tennis players and b) to investigate the experiences of tennis players of an acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) intervention aimed at reducing experiential avoidance. Eight tennis players (4 male, 4 female; M = 15.33 years, SD = 1.87 years) from a Sunshine Coast tennis academy took part in four 2-hour ACT intervention sessions aimed specifically at reducing experiential avoidance. Data were collected through focus groups and through the quantitative measures of Acceptance and Action Questionnaire-II, Kentucky Inventory of Mindfulness Scale, and White Bear Suppression Inventory. From focus group data, 5 deductive themes were found pertaining to the core ACT processes. The core process of values did not deductively emerge. Within the five ACT process, seven inductive themes were found that related to the tennis players‟ experiences of the ACT intervention. These seven themes were ease and utility, detachment from thoughts (rule governed behaviour), focus, normalisation, threat reduction, control as a by-product, and realising. No significant results were found to pre and post-intervention quantitative measures. Findings show some initial evidence to suggest that reducing experiential avoidance in tennis players may be beneficial to performance. Limitations, implications, and future research recommendations are discussed in detail.
Keyword ACT
Experiential avoidance
Tennis players

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Created: Thu, 19 Nov 2015, 14:54:20 EST by Danico Jones on behalf of School of Psychology