Single-case Research Methods in Sport and Exercise Psychology

  • Published on
    09-Feb-2017

  • View
    212

  • Download
    0

Embed Size (px)

Transcript

  • This article was downloaded by: [Ams/Girona*barri Lib]On: 08 October 2014, At: 08:30Publisher: RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registeredoffice: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK

    Sport, Education and SocietyPublication details, including instructions for authors andsubscription information:http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/cses20

    Single-case Research Methods in Sportand Exercise PsychologyHamish Crocketaa Faculty of Education, University of Waikato, Hamilton, NewZealandPublished online: 01 Jul 2014.

    To cite this article: Hamish Crocket (2014) Single-case Research Methods in Sport and ExercisePsychology, Sport, Education and Society, 19:6, 849-851, DOI: 10.1080/13573322.2014.932111

    To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13573322.2014.932111

    PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE

    Taylor & Francis makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all the information (theContent) contained in the publications on our platform. However, Taylor & Francis,our agents, and our licensors make no representations or warranties whatsoever as tothe accuracy, completeness, or suitability for any purpose of the Content. Any opinionsand views expressed in this publication are the opinions and views of the authors,and are not the views of or endorsed by Taylor & Francis. The accuracy of the Contentshould not be relied upon and should be independently verified with primary sourcesof information. Taylor and Francis shall not be liable for any losses, actions, claims,proceedings, demands, costs, expenses, damages, and other liabilities whatsoever orhowsoever caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with, in relation to or arisingout of the use of the Content.

    This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. Anysubstantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing,systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden. Terms &Conditions of access and use can be found at http://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditions

    http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/cses20http://www.tandfonline.com/action/showCitFormats?doi=10.1080/13573322.2014.932111http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13573322.2014.932111http://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditionshttp://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditions

  • Single-case Research Methods in Sport and Exercise Psychology,Jamie Barker, Paul McCarthy, Marc Jones & Aidan Moran, 2011London and New York, Routledge30.99 (paperback), xvi + 206 pp.ISBN 978-0-415-56512-7

    Single-case research methods in sport and exercise psychology is a useful addition toexisting literature describing sport and exercise psychology methods for a number ofreasons. First, Barker, McCarthy, Jones and Morans tome is the first book-lengthexposition of single-case methods within the sport and exercise sciences. Second, theauthors argue that single-case research methods are an underutilised tool for appliedresearch, particularly in the contemporary climate of evidence-based practice.Relatedly, this book might be read positively in light of Rainer Martens (1979)long-standing call for sport psychologists to move their research from the laboratoryto the sports field.Roughly 80% of the book is devoted to describing and explaining different types of

    single-case methods, while the remaining 20% offers historical and contemporarycontextualisation of single-case methods within psychology and, more specifically,within sport and exercise psychology. An important distinction is that between a casestudy and single-case methods. Whereas a case study is a descriptive analysis of apsychological issue in an individual athlete, the authors explain, single-case researchdesigns are controlled experiments from which to draw causal inferences (2021). Insimple terms, single-case methods involve carefully planned, thoroughly describedand closely evaluated interventions with athletes and exercisers in applied settings.Typically, single-case methods involve establishing a problem, taking a baselinemeasurement of this problem, implementing an intervention to mitigate the problemand, finally, evaluating the success of the intervention, often through withdrawing theintervention. As the authors explain, this withdrawal approach, also known as theA-B-A method, is the simplest form of case study. Yet, it is not without limitations.Consulting psychologists, for example, might be asked to work with clients onemergency problems, in which spending time gathering baseline data would beunacceptable. Similarly, clients might also be reluctant to give up an intervention thatappears to be working to check whether there is an immediate performancedecrement without the intervention. Alternatively, the evidence from a single roundof A-B-A might be insufficient to generate adequate data. Subsequently, afterintroducing single-case research through the A-B-A withdrawal design, the authorsdevote multiple chapters to describing single-case methods that are ideal for dealingwith one or both of these constraints.Initial variations offer minor alterations to the A-B-A structure. For clients who

    require an immediate intervention, the order might be reversed to B-A-B, where anintervention is introduced without first gathering baseline data, the intervention isthen removed to establish a baseline, before being reintroduced. Both the A-B-Aand the B-A-B can be significantly strengthened by adding a fourth phase to the

    Book reviews 849

    Dow

    nloa

    ded

    by [

    Am

    s/G

    iron

    a*ba

    rri L

    ib]

    at 0

    8:30

    08

    Oct

    ober

    201

    4

  • study (A-B-A-B and B-A-B-A, respectively). A further alternative is to experimentwith multiple interventions. Each intervention will be introduced and withdrawnindividually. The basic design can be either A-B-C-A-B-C or A-B-C-B-C-A. Thisallows for the effectiveness of two separate interventions to be tested relative to abaseline, with the most effective intervention being chosen as the preferred long-termsolution.One alternative to the withdrawal approach is to adopt a multiple baseline design.

    In a multiple baseline design, the implementation of an intervention is staggeredprogressively across multiple contexts, producing multiple baselines. Unlike thewithdrawal design, interventions do not need to be withdrawn, which avoids theethical dilemma of removing an intervention that is positively affecting a client. As anexample, an intervention might be staged across individual practice, team practiceand competition. Baseline measurements would be taken for each context and theintervention would first be implemented in individual practice, then team practiceand finally in competition. If each of these interventions showed an improvement ontheir respective baseline measurements, this would support the inference that theintervention caused a change in behaviour.I was surprised to learn that single-case methods are not limited to n = 1 studies,

    rather they can include a range of small-n studies. For example, over a period ofmonths a consulting psychologist might encounter three athletes rehabilitating fromknee surgeries. The three athletes would be treated asynchronously, yet, if theircircumstances were similar enough, each might be given the same intervention at apoint in time that fitted their individual needs. Because the intervention was the samefor each athlete, this would be an example of a small-n study using multiple baselinesacross participants. If each athlete were found to improve from their baseline duringthe intervention, these collective improvements would add weight to the likelihood ofcausality being established.All of the single-case methods reviewed to this point are designed to reveal whether

    an intervention has an immediate clinically significant effect. Some interventions,however, are expected to have a more gradual effect on behaviour. The changingcriterion design is suited to such cases. In effect, the client sets a target that surpassesthe baseline measurements. Once they have reached this target a set number oftimes, the target is progressively extended further and further. Readers may befamiliar with this strategy in relation to exercise and fitness, in which exerciseduration might be increased in a step-wise series of changes from a sedentarybaseline to regular, hour-long bouts of exercise.The final method described by the authors is the alternating treatment design in

    which the researcher will regularly switch between interventions in an attempt todiscover which is more effective. What differentiates this from the multipleintervention variation of the withdrawal design, described earlier, is that there is norequirement to withdraw interventions. A significant challenge associated with thisapproach is the potential for multi-treatment interference, where the differentinterventions interact in some way and so no longer form independent variables.

    850 Book reviews

    Dow

    nloa

    ded

    by [

    Am

    s/G

    iron

    a*ba

    rri L

    ib]

    at 0

    8:30

    08

    Oct

    ober

    201

    4

  • Collectively, single-case approaches offer a number of advantages to appliedpractitioners and researchers. First, they allow investigation of problems that arelogistically difficult to study in larger groups. Second, single-case approaches are aform of evidence of the relative success of an intervention. Third, single-caseapproaches can avoid certain ethical issues in research, such as requiring a controlgroup for an intervention when the treatment group is likely to benefit significantly.Fourth, single-case approaches examine individual responses that may be maskedwithin large-n group research.Barker, McCarthy, Jones and Moran have produced a straightforward and concise

    summary of single-case research methods. One weakness of the book was the relianceon hypothetical data and graphs to illustrate different single-case methods. Thishypothetical data, unsurprisingly, was very clean. Perhaps, the authors could havedevoted more space to considering problem-solving strategies for researchers whensingle-case methods do not produce such clean sets of data. Nevertheless, due to theunique nature of this text and its overall clarity, Single-case research methods in sportand exercise psychology will be useful to current practitioners and aspiring graduatestudents wishing to conduct applied research.

    Reference

    Martens, R. (1979). About smocks and jocks. Journal of Sport Psychology, 1, 9499.

    Hamish Crocket,Faculty of Education, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New ZealandEmail: hamishc@waikatoac.nz 2014, Hamish Crockethttp://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13573322.2014.932111

    Book reviews 851

    Dow

    nloa

    ded

    by [

    Am

    s/G

    iron

    a*ba

    rri L

    ib]

    at 0

    8:30

    08

    Oct

    ober

    201

    4

    mailto:hamishc@waikato.ac.nzhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13573322.2014.932111

    Reference

Recommended

View more >