Athletes are known to avoid disclosures of mental health vulnerabilities due to fear of career-related repercussions such as selection loss, less competition opportunities, or contract non-renewal. This is underpinned by a reluctance to demonstrate perceived weakness in order to avoid negative consequences.
The International Olympic Committee describes psychological safety being present in sports settings when athletes are comfortable being themselves, can take necessary interpersonal risks, have knowledge and understanding of mental health symptoms and disorders, and feel supported and comfortable in seeking help if needed.
Whilst there is some evidence of dance environments not being conducive to psychological safety, no research has sought to explore this explicitly. Using the Sport Psychological Safety Inventory (SPSI) in an adapted form that focuses on the dance environment, dancers’ perceptions of their working or training environments are examined in order to reach a clearer understanding. It is expected that professional dancers (and those in professional training), will display similar levels of psychological safety to elite athletes.
Start date of project:
End date of project:
This study will use a single online questionnaire (https://uow-survey.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/dpsi) to gain anonymous data from voluntary participants. JISC online survey builder has been used to create the shareable questionnaire and gather the recorded data.
A comprehensive participant information sheet is included as the first page of the online questionnaire. Participants must check a box to indicate their understanding of the parameters of the study and give consent for the use of their data before they may answer the questionnaire.
The survey comprises of 17 questions that attain demographic data and examine psychological safety (e.g., explores knowledge and understanding of mental health symptoms and disorders, and the extent to which dancers feel supported and comfortable in seeking help).
Confidentiality and ethical approval:
All information gathered is entirely anonymous to the researcher/s involved in the study, and data will be password protected.
Ethical approval has been granted by the University of Wolverhampton ethics committee.
All dancers over the age of 16 – training or performing in any genre of dance, from recreational to professional level.
Those under the age of 16 may not participate.
Benefits to the participant:
By participating in this study, you will be playing a crucial role in building a pivotal understanding of how safe (or unsafe) dancer’s feel in their training/performing environments. This can go on to influence the understanding and support of mental health in dance contexts, as well as guide further research aimed at improving psychological safety for all dancers.
Name – Joanne Penner
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact number – 07550013511