This PhD project explores the relationship between work, sport and mental health for coaches in the Gaelic Athletic Association [GAA]. The project will be the first qualitative study to focus on this topic among coaches from the GAA in Northern Ireland. Previous research on mental health and sport has tended to focus on the mental health of athletes. This research is also dominated by biomedical and psychological perspectives of mental health. In comparison, wider social inequalities and precarious work are rarely addressed when exploring the mental health of those who work in sport. Experience of stigma that prevent the disclosure of mental health issues are also often contextualised by sporting experiences. However, sociological research that assesses the dynamics of work can help explain how broader social processes impact on the mental health of sports workers. This study draws upon semi-structured interviews conducted with GAA coaches to understand how coaches’ experiences, inside and outside of their sport, affect their mental health. By combining sociological and psychological approaches, it is anticipated that the findings will reveal how research in sport and mental health should adopt more adequate perspectives and models of mental health that appreciate humans as biopsychosocial beings, and which explain the complex relationships that exist between sport, work and mental health.
To explore the various work and non-work impacts on mental health among elite sports workers. This project aims to discover more about non-sporting issues and concerns in wider society that have often been ignore in research on mental health and sport.
It is anticipated that the findings from this psychosocial approach will reveal how research in sport and mental health should adopt more adequate perspectives and models of mental health that appreciate humans as biopsychosocial beings.
|Short title||mental health & elite sports work|
|Effective start/end date||7/02/20 → 30/09/22|