Term of Award

Spring 2012

Degree Name

Master of Science in Kinesiology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Department

Department of Health and Kinesiology

Committee Chair

Daniel R. Czech

Committee Member 1

Daniel R. Czech

Committee Member 2

Brandonn Harris

Committee Member 3

Trey Burdette

Abstract

Optimism has been shown to provide many benefits, such as better health, increased satisfaction, confidence, motivation, and higher athletic performance. Research has also suggested the ability to increase the frequency of experiencing those benefits through the use of certain cognitive behavior therapy techniques. While the research shows the ability to increase optimism in a random sample of individuals, there is a lack of research on increasing optimism in athletes. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of an optimism training intervention on state optimism levels of NCAA Division 1 athletes. It was hypothesized the intervention will increase optimism levels in participants. Results displayed an increase in optimism scores during the intervention phase for all participants. After the intervention, two participants dropped in optimism levels while the other two stayed relatively the same. These results suggest optimism training may increase optimism levels. Further research examining varying sports, length of intervention, and timing the intervention closer to in-season is suggested.

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