Sport and Performance Psychology: Ethical Issues

Douglas M. Hankes

in The Oxford Handbook of Sport and Performance Psychology

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199731763
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Sport and Performance Psychology: Ethical Issues

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The psychology of human performance, which includes the domains of sport and other performance areas such as dance and music, offers a unique and complex environment in which to engage in ethical practice. Regardless of what “type” of psychology the practitioner is providing, the American Psychological Association's General Principles and Ethics Code guides the psychologist and consultant in their work with performers and the organizations to which they belong and interact within. Much of the work that sport and performance psychologists and consultants provide is done outside of traditional practice models, so a commitment to ethical practice is imperative.

This chapter discusses some of the fundamental elements that may serve to encourage and nurture ethical practitioners, including the development of sound clinical judgment, utilization of personal skill inventories, adoption of a lifelong learning attitude, incorporation of peer supervision, and the selection of a decision-making model for ethical questions. The different training backgrounds of sport and performance psychologists and consultants, including certification and proficiency standards, are also explored. Finally, the three major areas of ethical issues in the practice of sport and performance psychology are examined, including competence and training, confidentiality and informed consent, and multiple relationships and boundaries. Case examples and vignettes are provided to illustrate the relevant ethical considerations.

Keywords: Competence; confidentiality; decision making model; ethics code; informed consent; multiple relationships; personal skill inventory; supervision

Article.  11707 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Health Psychology ; Organizational Psychology

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