Date of Award

5-2007

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Sport Studies

Major Professor

Leslee A. Fisher

Committee Members

Craig A. Wrisberg, John W. Lounsbury, Jeffrey E. Davis

Abstract

Athletes who are deaf form a unique cultural group within sport. Many have competed at of the highest levels of competition from the Deaflympics to professional sport and the Olympic Games. Although deaf athletes have competed at these elite, world-class levels, there have been few attempts to recognize and understand the psychological characteristics of persons who are deaf in the sport context. Therefore, the purpose of the present research was to translate a commonly used inventory for measuring psychological coping in sport – the Athletic Coping Skills Inventory-28 (ACSI-28) - for use with a group of world-class deaf athletes at the 2007 Winter Deaflympics. In order to achieve this objective the study was divided into three stages: (a) adaptation and translation of the ASCI-28 for use with deaf athletes; (b) investigation of the preliminary psychometric properties of the adapted and translated inventory through pilot testing, and (c) collection of data from a group of world-class deaf athletes in order to describe the types of coping skills used in deaf sport and to further extend the initial psychometric properties of the inventory. Results of the pilot study indicated there was initial reliability and validity to warrant the use of this new measure – the Deaf Athletic Coping Skills Inventory (DACSI-36) - in the main study. Subsequent data collection using the DACSI-36 revealed that deaf athletes in some sports used various coping skills significantly more often than athletes in other sports. The results are discussed in light of previous research and implications for future research are presented.

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