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    The effects of rational emotive behaviour therapy on performance under pressure in adolescent soccer athletes: a randomised control design

    Nejati, Mohammadbagher, Farsi, Alireza, Moteshareie, Ebrahim, Miller, Anthony ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2271-4728 and Turner, Martin ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1975-5561 (2022) The effects of rational emotive behaviour therapy on performance under pressure in adolescent soccer athletes: a randomised control design. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology. ISSN 1612-197X

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    Abstract

    Although several studies have reported the effects of rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) with athletes, significant methodological limitations have been observed in the extant research. These include a lack of randomized control trials (RCT), a lack of objective performance measurement, and often poor internal and external validity. Accordingly, these limitations are addressed in the present study, and the effects of REBT on performance under pressure in adolescent soccer players is assessed using an RCT design. In this study, 24 adolescent soccer players were recruited. After completing pre-intervention measures of irrational beliefs, social anxiety, and performance under pressure, players were divided into two groups, an experimental (n = 12) and placebo control group (n = 12). The experimental group underwent ten REBT sessions and the placebo control group underwent ten sessions of video clips related to new soccer technologies. Indicators of irrational beliefs, social anxiety, and performance under pressure were collected at a post-intervention and at a four-month follow-up. Results demonstrated a significant decrease in irrational beliefs and social anxiety and an improvement in performance under pressure in the experimental group, compared to the placebo control group. These significant changes were maintained in the experimental group at follow-up. Results are discussed in relation to advancements to the extant research, and recommendations for future applied work are proffered.

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