Exploring the social environment, group dynamics, and social support for the mental health and well-being amongst sport officials

The recent awareness and subsequent action points around mental health and well being amongst athletes in sport has increased research attention and interventions focusing on athletes.

Project Lead

Dr Kyle Paradis

Lecturer in Sport Sociology/Sport Psychology (Mental Health)

School of Sport


Problem

The recent awareness and subsequent action points around mental health and well being amongst athletes in sport has increased research attention and interventions focusing on athletes. However, Sport officials are a segment of the sporting environment that are often overlooked, yet, undergo tremendous, scruity, stress, and pressure, in their roles across all levels of officiating.

Solution

Establishing that referees operate within unique performance groups and maintain social environments, may lend to vehicles to be used for the sustainment and maintenance, of the mental health and well-being amongst sport officials.

Impact

Thus far, sport officials from ice hockey, basketball, and soccer have engaged in a series of both qualitative and quantitative studies which has contributed to the understanding of the unique officiating environments that are present amongst sport officials across sport types whereby officials operate within groups during a match. Further, through our findings, officiating organisations are taking note of how to better develop support, and maintain sport officials, with specific areas identified to target for intervention.

Collaborators

  • Dr. David Hancock (Memorial University, Newfoundland Canada)
  • Dr. Luc Martin (Queen’s University, Ontario Canada)
  • Dr. Blair Evans (Western University, Ontario Canada)