Year of Publication

2020

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Education

Department

Kinesiology and Health Promotion

First Advisor

Dr. Marc Cormier

Abstract

Mindfulness-based interventions’ (MBIs) effectiveness for improving wellbeing and reducing emotional distress is well-documented in both clinical and non-clinical sections of the general population (McAlarnen & Longshore, 2017). Although mindfulness has been shown to be effective with these populations, less is known about the specific effects for athletes. The effects of MBI’s for athletes may be different given that the intention for MBIs in the sport context is typically to improve performance, where in most other contexts it is not (Gardner & Moore, 2012). Furthermore, athletes are a distinct population who possess unique factors on which their wellbeing and mental health depend, therefore MBIs may affect them differently. Given this potential difference in impact, the current systematic review sought to determine how MBIs affect athletes’ emotional distress and wellbeing outcomes (positive, negative, or no significant effect), whether there is a difference between athletes and non-athletes in terms of these outcomes, and finally whether there is a difference between sport-specific versus nonsport-specific MBIs in terms of these outcomes. Results from the systematic review revealed that the impact MBIs have on athletes’ wellbeing and emotional distress outcomes do not yet have evidence to support their effectiveness. Potential explanations for the findings are discussed.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.13023/etd.2020.195

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