New study researches athletes’ wellbeing

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author: john loeppky editor in chief


Study focuses on university-level athletes / josh gonzales

U of R grad student looking for participants

Cardiff Metropolitan University student and University of Regina graduate Tyler J.S Meadows is searching for student athletes to complete his master’s degree research that focuses on topics in sports psychology. Meadows said that the study is all about university athletes and their health.  

” So, essentially, we are examining student athlete wellbeing. Specifically, how social comparisons can impact wellbeing. For example, comparing oneself to peers (typically other student athletes) and how these comparisons lead to negative affective (emotional) reactions. In addition, when examining these social comparisons, how does envy factor in?” 

Meadows said this envy is divided into two areas. 

“So, there are two types of envy: benign (in which the individual seeks to move up the ladder and achieve what the comparative has) or malicious (in which they seek to bring the person/people ahead of them back down.)” 

While Meadows could not reveal the details of the study – that could create issues with his results – he did give some inkling as to what participants would experience.  

“It’s fairly simple. Participants will first give informed consent followed by a randomized set of valid and reliable self-report scales that examine a variety of wellbeing and social comparison variables.” 

The researcher said that the process would take up to half an hour. He requires upward of 200 participants.  

Meadows said he hopes that the study will support student athletes in their health as they progress in their careers.  

“Well I do hope it sheds a light on the impact that social comparisons can have on the wellbeing of student athletes and [if] it goes beyond body image that is generally focused upon.” 

He did indicate, however, that there was room for new discoveries and unexpected realizations, as with any study of this type.  

“But who knows? Maybe we will be surprised and the resiliency and team cohesiveness factors that are common in athletes will act as a protective factor and we will see that although the athletes are making these comparisons, they aren’t affected by them as much. It will be fascinating to see the results. In addition, seeing various differences cross-culturally, between team and individual sports and gender will be enlightening as well.” 

The University of Regina graduate also brought forward other ways that this study will add to his field.  

“Well, I think what is interesting is in the sport literature when we discuss social comparison then variable focuses on body image, body dismorphia, and clinical issues as well, such as anorexia nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Biggorexia is also a new field. But, it hasn’t investigated social comparison and its relationship with envy and general wellbeing factors that we are now investigating.” 

Meadows’ reasons for undertaking this area of research stem from his work as an undergraduate.  

“I did a similar project for my undergrad examining social comparisons wellbeing and how mindfulness grit and self efficacy can be protective factors.” 

If you would like to participate in the study, supervised by Dr. Owen Thomas and Dr. Mikel Mellick, you can contact Meadows at either meadowst@uregina.ca or st20131118@outlook.cardiffmet.ac.uk. The link to the study is also available online.  

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