A moderated mediation analysis on the influence of social support and cognitive flexibility in predicting mental wellbeing in elite sport

Rhys Davies, Monja Knoll, Melina Nicole Kyranides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The purpose of this study was to examine the mechanism by which social support influences mental wellbeing. Using the thriving through relationships model to provide a theoretical underpinning, cognitive flexibility was hypothesised as a mediator. Additionally, the research examined the consistency of this pathway between elite athletes, retired athletes, and non-athletes. Survey responses from a sample of 247 participants (n = 49 elite athletes, n = 61 retired athletes, n = 137 convenience sample; of which = 127 (51.4%) were males, were included in the analysis. Initial mediation analysis revealed a significant indirect pathway from social support to mental wellbeing through cognitive flexibility. Moderated mediation analysis revealed this pathway was significant for retired athletes and the convenience sample, but not for elite athletes. Results provide additional insight into the mechanisms by which social support influences wellbeing.Cognitive flexibility interventions may not be as effective for elite athletes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102560
JournalPsychology of Sport and Exercise
Volume70
Early online date21 Nov 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • elite sport
  • social support
  • cognitive flexibility
  • mental wellbeing
  • mental health

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