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Young Pacific Male Rugby Players’ Perceptions and Experiences of Mental Wellbeing

Te Wānanga o Waipapa, School of Māori and Pacific Studies, Faculty of Arts, The University of Auckland, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
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Sports 2019, 7(4), 83; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7040083
Received: 13 March 2019 / Revised: 1 April 2019 / Accepted: 3 April 2019 / Published: 5 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emotions in Sports and Exercise)
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Abstract

Recent studies and increased media reporting across Australasia have linked young Pacific male elite athletes to depression, suicide, and other adverse mental health-related events. Despite these accounts, little is known about the way this group experience emotions and mental wellbeing. The aim of this study was to explore young Pacific male athletes’ perceptions and experiences of emotions and mental wellbeing. This qualitative study involved 20 face-to-face interviews with young Pacific males (16–24 years) engaged in elite rugby union and rugby league programmes in Auckland, New Zealand. The results identified that athletes defined mental wellbeing in a holistic and relational manner and perceived mental wellbeing as the culmination of several interconnected factors, including: Family support, reciprocating family support, living a ‘well-balanced’ life, athletic performance, and personal development away from sports. The maintenance of a well-balanced athletic identity and positive social relations were deemed central to sustaining mental wellbeing for these young men. View Full-Text
Keywords: mental wellbeing; emotions; Pacific; youth; New Zealand; rugby union; rugby league; mental health; elite athletes mental wellbeing; emotions; Pacific; youth; New Zealand; rugby union; rugby league; mental health; elite athletes
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Marsters, C.; Tiatia-Seath, J. Young Pacific Male Rugby Players’ Perceptions and Experiences of Mental Wellbeing. Sports 2019, 7, 83.

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