Organizational Stress & Well-Being in competitive sport: a systematic review

Richard A.C. Simpson, Faye F. Didymus, Toni L. Williams

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Research on organizational stress in competitive sport has grown exponentially within the last two decades. Despite the volume of literature and the narrative reviews available, no systematic reviews exist that have sought to bring collective findings together in a single, rigorous point of reference. The objective of this oral presentation is to share the findings of this review on organizational stress and well-being, which was subjected to rigorous evaluation and synthesis, with the aim of highlighting innovative avenues for future qualitative research. A systematic review of literature was conducted using PRISMA-P guidelines and robust searches of PsycArticles, PsycInfo, and SPORTDiscus databases. Citation pearl growing and manual searches of journal databases helped to retrieve additional relevant papers that may have been missed in the initial searches. To be included, retrieved papers must have contained primary or secondary data collected from athletes, coaches, support staff in competitive sport, and have been published between March 2001 and September 2020. Key information from sifted papers (i.e., at the title, abstract, and full-text levels) were extracted and the final sample of included papers were tabulated into a study characteristics table on MicrosoftTM Excel. Study quality scores were evaluated among the research team, while included papers were shared among topical experts to reduce the risk of bias. The final sample comprised 47 studies that included 4,630 individuals (athletes, coaches, and support staff). The synthesized findings presented within this systematic review of literature proffer a myriad of widely distributed organizational stressors underpinned by a range of situational properties and managed through a variety of coping options (e.g., problem solving, social support). Limited studies within the literature focused on cognitive appraisals, emotions, and well-being within the context of organizational stress, with existing literature overly focusing on athletes and discrete stress experiences. The review highlights the importance of interpersonal stress transactions (e.g., appraisals, coping) and their influence on individual and collective functioning in sport. Athletes, coaches, and support staff in sport organizations experience a range of stress transactions that holds implications for performance and health-related outcomes. As this presentation will highlight, future research should consider the use of longitudinal, diary, integrative designs, and further innovatively designed studies (e.g., creative non-fiction) within under-represented populations (e.g., coaches, support staff) to deepen our understanding of the relational nature of organizational stress and well-being.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 8 Apr 2021
Event16th European Network of Youth Specialists in Sport Psychology Conference - Online
Duration: 8 Apr 20218 Apr 2021

Academic conference

Academic conference16th European Network of Youth Specialists in Sport Psychology Conference


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