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Adversarial growth in Olympic swimmers: constructive reality or illusory self-deception?

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journal contribution
posted on 19.04.2016, 11:13 by Karen L. Howells, David FletcherDavid Fletcher
Previous research suggests that adversarial growth is a real and constructive phenomenon that occurs in athletes who compete at the highest level of sport. In this study, however, we adopt a critical stance on the veridicality of growth by exploring Olympic swimmers’ experience of constructive and illusory growth. Semi-structured interviews, complemented by timelining, were analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Despite the inherently negative aspects of adversity, it was evident from the swimmers’ interpretations that they also perceived positive consequences of their experiences. Analysis revealed that some of these positive outcomes were indicative of illusory aspects of growth, while other positive outcomes were more indicative of constructive aspects of growth. It appears that earlier phases of the growth process were characterized by more illusory aspects of growth, whereas when the temporal proximity from the adversity increased, more constructive aspects of growth are apparent.

History

School

  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Published in

Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology

Volume

38

Issue

2

Pages

173-186

Citation

HOWELLS, K.L. and FLETCHER, D., 2016. Adversarial growth in Olympic swimmers: constructive reality or illusory self-deception? Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 38 (2), pp. 173-186.

Publisher

© Human Kinetics

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date

2016-03-15

Copyright date

2016

Notes

This is the as accepted for publication version of an article subsequently published in the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology © Human Kinetics. The definitive version is available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1123/jsep.2015-0159.

ISSN

0895-2779

Language

en