The Evolution of Multicultural Practices in Sport and Performance Psychology

Brooke Lamphere, University of Denver, USA
Carly Schwartz, University of Denver, USA

Theme: Social and cultural diversity

Program ID: LEC-10D

Presentation: October 4, 2013 8:15 am - 9:30 am

Room: Jasperwood


Throughout the psychological, sociological and counseling literature, the need for multicultural competency is identified as a key component in professional development and practice. Historically dependent upon White, Western-European, heterosexual populations, the systematic evolution of psychotherapeutic research and practice no longer caters to a monocultural perspective. Future directions in psychological practice and research must be dedicated to multicultural sensitivity, as a continued focus on traditionally targeted clientele no longer serves as an accurate representation of “mainstream” populations (Prochaska & Norcross, 2010). Literature pertaining specifically to sport and performance psychology (SPP) has underemphasized the importance of multicultural awareness and sensitivity, particularly in regard to the development and implementation of applied practice or interventions (Duda & Allison, 1990; Ram, Starek & Johnson, 2004). Culturally relevant issues such as gender or sexual orientation (Alley & Hicks, 2005; Hardin & Greer, 2009; Meany, Dornier, & Owens, 2002), ethnicity (Schinke & Moore, 2011; Ram et al., 2004), and religious or spiritual affiliation (Ikulaio & Semidara, 2011) can contribute markedly to performance outcome, yet few resources exist detailing the effectiveness of mainstream interventions with diverse populations. The purpose of this paper is to present three components integral to the continued evolution of sport and performance psychology as a field, including (1) an awareness and understanding of personal perceptions and biases, (2) developing and maintaining a working knowledge of the primary culture with which clientele identify, and (3) emphasizing the inclusion of culturally relevant constructs in practical interventions (Schinke & Moore, 2011). Challenging current and future sport psychology practitioners through an emphasis on multicultural competency will allow for a greater degree of overall inclusivity, and directly impact the quality of therapeutic relationships in practice.

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