Women’s participation in sports has recently grown worldwide, including in sports typically associated with men (e.g., rugby and football). Similarly, literature on female athletes has increased, but how they cope with premenstrual (PM) physical and affective symptoms remains a poorly studied topic. Our study aimed to explain which coping strategies elite female rugby and football players use during their PM period to maintain perceived physical ability (PPA) and well-being. A mediation model analysis considering coping strategies (i.e., avoiding harm, awareness and acceptance, adjusting energy, self-care, and communicating) as independent variables, PPA and well-being as dependent variables, and PM physical and affective symptoms and PM cognitive resources as mediators was run on the data collected via an anonymous online survey. A dysfunctional impact of avoiding harm (indirect) and adjusting energy (both direct and indirect) and a functional indirect influence of awareness and acceptance, self-care, and communicating as coping strategies were found on PPA and well-being during the PM period. As predicted, PM physical and affective symptoms as mediators reduced PPA and well-being, while PM cognitive resources enhanced them. These results may inform practitioners on how to support elite female athletes’ PPA and well-being by knowing and reinforcing the most functional PM coping strategies for them.

How do elite female athletes cope with symptoms of their premenstrual period? A study on Rugby Union and Football players’ perceived physical ability and well-being

Modena, Roberto;Schena, Federico;Vitali, Francesca
2022

Abstract

Women’s participation in sports has recently grown worldwide, including in sports typically associated with men (e.g., rugby and football). Similarly, literature on female athletes has increased, but how they cope with premenstrual (PM) physical and affective symptoms remains a poorly studied topic. Our study aimed to explain which coping strategies elite female rugby and football players use during their PM period to maintain perceived physical ability (PPA) and well-being. A mediation model analysis considering coping strategies (i.e., avoiding harm, awareness and acceptance, adjusting energy, self-care, and communicating) as independent variables, PPA and well-being as dependent variables, and PM physical and affective symptoms and PM cognitive resources as mediators was run on the data collected via an anonymous online survey. A dysfunctional impact of avoiding harm (indirect) and adjusting energy (both direct and indirect) and a functional indirect influence of awareness and acceptance, self-care, and communicating as coping strategies were found on PPA and well-being during the PM period. As predicted, PM physical and affective symptoms as mediators reduced PPA and well-being, while PM cognitive resources enhanced them. These results may inform practitioners on how to support elite female athletes’ PPA and well-being by knowing and reinforcing the most functional PM coping strategies for them.
coping strategies
premenstrual symptoms
athletes’ wellness
team sports
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/1073711
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