Title page for ETD etd-11262008-103106


Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Ferreira-Teixeira, Jose Stephen
Email stephentex@polka.co.za
URN etd-11262008-103106
Document Title Understanding the mediation of pain in the experience of competitive rowing : a Rorschach study
Degree Master of Arts
Department Psychology
Supervisor
Advisor Name Title
Dr M Aronstam Supervisor
Keywords
  • pain
  • mediation
  • Lambda
  • form quality
  • Exner
  • comprehensive system
  • cognitive triad
  • sport
  • rowing
  • Rorschach
Date 2008-09-05
Availability restricted
Abstract

The staff at the High Performance Centre requested that a study to be conducted that would use the Rorschach Inkblot Test to assess fifteen members (mean age 23.60 years) of the male rowing team. The central research problem pertains to an investigation into the rower’s unique perceptions of pain and its link to performance. Sport and pain have a varied and complex relationship. Athletes have to undergo certain amounts of discomfort in order to reach specific goals while training. Pushing the body to its limits is an important factor of the training process and can often lead to painful sensations. The sporting context often encourages athletes to define what can be considered an unhealthy attribute as part of the self. The rowers as well as the training staff have noticed that the athletes themselves view the pain encountered in the sporting environment as an indicator of performance. This specific study was able to help both the rowers and the training staff at the High Performance Centre to better understand the role that pain is playing within the rowers and its impact on their performance. The Rorschach Inkblot Test was used as the measurement instrument in an attempt to gain insight into the specific way these athletes cognitively mediate information regarding pain. The Rorschach protocols were administered; coded and interpreted using the Comprehensive System developed by John Exner. The Rorschach played an important role in uncovering specific findings and explored certain commonalities that arose within the sample in relation to the rower’s cognitive mediational processes. The results indicated that mediation among the target group of rowers was found to be generally adequate, however on instances unusual forms of mediation became apparent. A misinterpretation of pain does not occur, due to the presence of an avoidant style the affective nature of pain is blocked and therefore cannot impact the rowers negatively.

©University of Pretoria 2008

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