Athletic Insight - The Online Journal of Sport Psychology

Sport Psychology Consulting with Latin American Athletes

Anthony P. Kontos, Ph.D.
&
Erick Arguello, M.Ed.

University Of New Orleans

PDF Version

ABSTRACT

Introduction

Multicultural Concepts and Terms

Overview of Latin American Cultural Influences

Awareness, not Universality

An Incomplete Review of Latin American Culture in Relation to Sport Psychology Consulting

A Multicultural Approach for Working with Latin American Athletes

References

References

eBay 4 million reasons you'll find it here

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this paper was to provide the sport psychology consultant with information about Latin American cultural groups in relation to sport psychology consulting. The paper contains a review of key multicultural terms and concepts, such as worldview and acculturation. This is followed by a brief overview of the various historical influences on Latin American culture. Next, we discussed the importance of avoiding a universal perspective of culture, and provided an overview of the cultural beliefs and practices among Latin Americans. The cultural beliefs and practices were then woven into a presentation of a multicultural approach for working with Latin American athletes. Ultimately, the goal of this paper was to provide the reader with an introduction to Latin American culture in relation to sport psychology, and to serve as a catalyst for further discussion and research involving Latin American athletes in sport psychology.

Introduction

       Major League Baseball (MLB) player Sammy Sosa is from the Dominican Republic. National Basketball Association (NBA) player Manu Ginóbili is from Argentina. Major League Soccer (MLS) player Jaime Moreno is from Bolivia. The list goes on. Approximately 25% of the players in MLB are from Latin America (Bretón, 2000). Many of these players come from the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and more recently, Venezuela. Currently, 14% of Major League Soccer (MLS) players are from Latin America (Lapchick, 2005). The NBA has only recently begun to see an influx of foreign athletes, and currently counts 13 of its total players from Latin America. In 2001-2002 nearly 12,000 athletes in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) sports identified themselves as being Latin American (i.e., Latino: National Collegiate Athletic Association, 2003). Given these increased numbers of Latin American athletes training and competing in the U.S., it is surprising that there is little information in the sport psychology literature regarding the issues, cultures and provisions of sport psychology consulting services to these athletes. The few studies (e.g., Kontos & Breland-Noble, 2002) that have examined multicultural issues related to sport psychology consulting have presented only limited information about Latin American cultural groups. The reality is that many sport psychology consultants are currently, or will be working with athletes from Latin America. This work would greatly benefit from an understanding of the cultures from which these athletes come.

       A sport psychology consultant would be remiss to assume that athletes from Ireland, Portugal, and Greece represented the same cultural group, in spite of their shared European geography. Instead, these European countries and their concomitant cultures are typically viewed individually. As a result of this perception, athletes from each country would be approached individually as Irish, Portuguese, and Greek, respectively. In the U.S. however, similarly disparate cultural groups such as Cubans, Argentines and Mexicans are practically lumped together as Hispanic or Latino. Technically, the term Hispanic suggests Spanish heritage (U.S. Census Bureau, 2001), but more often refers to athletes from North, Central and South America and the Caribbean whose primary language is Spanish. Hispanic does have negative connotations, and its use has decreased in favor of the term Latino, which broadly refers to athletes who come from Latin America, but who do not necessarily speak Spanish nor have Spanish heritage, such as Brazilians. Although both of these cultural categorizations may be convenient, they are based on the presumption that athletes from Latin America share most of their culture. In reality, athletes from Latin America, a term that is used to loosely define the geopolitical area from Mexico in the north to Tierra del Fuego in Chile and Argentina in the south, differ widely in their cultural practices and beliefs (Ryan, 1947). Therefore, it is important for sport psychology consultants who might work with athletes from Latin America to be aware of the unique cultural factors that might affect their work with these athletes.

       Martens, Mobley and Zizzi (2000) advocated for increasing the knowledge of cultural groups among sport psychology consultants. They acknowledged the current lack of this information in sport psychology, and directed the reader to several excellent multicultural counseling resources (e.g., Sue & Sue, 1999). These resources, though, do not discuss issues specific to sport or their application to sport psychology consulting per se. Moreover, they are not specific to Latin Americans. Hence, the goal of the current paper is to provide the sport psychology consultant with information about Latin American cultural groups in relation to sport psychology consulting. We approached the paper from a multidimensional perspective and have included information from psychology, sociology, history, and other disciplines. In this paper, we review key multicultural terms and concepts, such as worldview and acculturation. We follow this with an overview of the various historical influences on Latin American culture. Next, we discuss the importance of avoiding a universal perspective of culture. Then we provide an overview of Latin American cultural beliefs and practices that might affect sport psychology consulting. Finally, we discuss a multicultural framework for sport psychology consulting. In order to simplify this already complex discussion, we excluded English (e.g., Jamaica) and French (e.g., Haiti) speaking cultures from our discussion. We hope that this paper will provide the reader with an introduction to Latin American culture in relation to sport psychology, and will serve as a catalyst for further discussion and research involving Latin American athletes.

Multicultural Concepts and Terms

       Before delving into the cultural characteristics of Latin American athletes it is important to discuss the two key elements that affect our cultural interpretations: worldview and acculturation. We will begin by examining the concept of worldview and how it might influence our theoretical approach to working with Latin American athletes.

Worldview

       The development of awareness and understanding of any cultural group must be preceded by an understanding of our selves in relation to the world around us and specifically to the athletes with which we might work. This understanding is broadly referred to as a worldview (Sue, 1981). The application of a worldview to work with athletes has received little attention in the sport psychology literature. This is surprising given the attention that the worldview has received in counseling and other mental health professions (e.g., Brown & Landrum-Brown, 1995). Kontos and Breland-Noble (2002) provided the lone examination of a worldview in relation to sport psychology consulting with different cultural groups in the U.S. However, they did not examine worldview in relation to specific Latin American cultures and athletes.

       A worldview is constructed from one’s personal history and interaction with individuals from different cultural groups, media portrayals of these groups, and dominant culture social views. Theoretical orientations also affect one’s worldview (Ivey, Ivey, & Simek-Morgan, 1997). For example, a sport psychology consultant with a cognitive behavioral theoretical orientation might adopt a worldview that focuses on short-term, action-focused, educational solutions. In contrast, a sport psychology consultant with an existential theoretical orientation might adopt a worldview that focuses more on listening to the athlete’s concerns and allows the athlete to find his or her own way. Each of these orientations might provide effective consulting depending on the situation and the athlete. However, the incorporation of a multicultural worldview into these and other (e.g., psychodynamic) theoretical orientations would allow the sport psychology consultant to consider the cultural context of the athlete. A multicultural worldview encompasses group identity (i.e., cultural consciousness), individual identity (i.e., self-concept), beliefs (e.g., spirituality), values (e.g., family), and language (Dana, 1993) and should be integrated into existing sport psychology theories and approaches to consulting work with athletes. We believe that as sport psychology consultants, we must first examine our own perceptions (and in some cases, misperceptions!) about Latin American cultures before attempting to understand or work with an athlete from these cultures.

Acculturation/Enculturation

       Cultural context is determined by the level of enculturation and acculturation of a particular athlete. Enculturation refers to an athlete’s identification with and engagement in the cultural beliefs, values and practices of their own culture (Berry, 1993). For example, a young baseball player named Pedro who recently arrived in the U.S. from the Dominican Republic to play minor league baseball might continue to speak primarily Spanish, contact his mother via phone daily, make the ‘sign of the cross’ before he bats, and have a daily ‘cafecito’ (small coffee) after practice; all of which would indicate a high level of enculturation. Acculturation on the other hand is an athlete’s identification with and engagement in the dominant culture’s practices (Landrine & Klonoff, 1994). For example Lucia, a collegiate basketball player who was born in Brazil, has lived most of her life in Chicago. She acts and dresses like her American-born teammates, listens to the same music as them, and speaks English as her first language. Lucia is detached from the culture beliefs and values of her parents, and only speaks Portuguese to her Grandparents, who still live in Brazil, during her infrequent phone calls to them. She shares more in common culturally with her peers than her family and Brazilian heritage. As these examples suggest, being sensitive to an athlete’s acculturation/enculturation can help the sport psychology consultant avoid making erroneous cultural assumptions and stereotyping athletes and their behaviors in sport.

       It is important to note that these processes are malleable and might change over the course of multiple consulting sessions or a competitive season. For example, one of the authors consulted with a tennis player from Colombia who recently came to the U.S. to compete in NCAA Division I tennis. During her first year, she was very enculturated, particularly in regard to her concerns about letting her family down (which created performance anxiety) and troubles interacting with coaches and teammates (resulting from a lack of confidence in her English speaking ability). Her level of enculturation played a significant role in the author’s understanding of both of these issues. At the start of her sophomore year and after living in the U.S. for a year, she was much more acculturated. Her new found confidence in performing (having let go of her fear of failing her parents in Colombia), and interacting with coaches had created new issues of being perceived as arrogant by her teammates and not listening to her coaches. This example illustrates the need for the sport psychology consultant to continue to be sensitive to the evolving acculturation level of athletes.

       Determining a Latin American athlete’s level of acculturation should involve a combination of interviewing, observation and formal assessments conducted during the sport psychology intake and at other times during the therapeutic relationship. Acculturation scales such as the 20-item Acculturation Rating Scale for Mexican Americans (Cuellar et al., 1980) and the 8-item Cuban Behavioral Identity Questionnaire (Garcia & Lega, 1979) can be used with these specific adult Latin American subpopulations. Although these measures are preferred when working with athletes from these subpopulations, they cannot be applied to other Latin American cultural groups. Two measures that both offer a strong theoretical foundation, validity and reliability for use across Latin American cultural groups include the 20-item Multidimensional Scale of Cultural Differences (Olmedo, Martinez & Martinez, 1978) and the 57-item Multicultural Experience Inventory (Ramirez, 1984). A very concise (12 items) and practical measure for use in sport psychology consulting is the Hispanic Acculturation Scale developed by Marin et al. (1987). It is important to note that the across-group assessments are validated using primarily Mexican-American samples. Their validity with other Latin American cultural groups and with athletes specifically is unknown. We believe that because sport is a unique environment in which culture is expressed, the development of an acculturation measure in sport for Latin American athletes is warranted.

Summary

       Sport psychology consultants should examine their own beliefs and values related to the various cultural groups from Latin America with which they might work in order to best meet the needs of athletes from these groups. The sport psychology consultant should then incorporate this worldview into their existing theoretical orientation to deliver the most culturally appropriate and effective consulting. The acculturation level of each athlete must also be considered.

Overview of Latin American Cultural Influences

      

       This section reviews the major cultural influences that have shaped athletes from Latin America. Purposefully, indigenous Latin American groups are presented first, as they were the original Latin American cultural groups. This is followed by a review of the subsequent influence of Spain and other colonizing countries, which have shaped much of today’s Latin American culture including language, religion, and values. These colonial influences brought with them the legacy of slavery and its concomitant importation of West African culture to Latin America. This section also stresses the importance of understanding the cultural as opposed to political boundaries of Latin America. Finally, a brief discussion of the issue of the mestizoization of Latin American culture is presented. To simplify the discussion, the immense and disparate geographical areas of Latin America are referred to broadly as: (a) North America (i.e., Mexico), (b) Central America, (c) the Caribbean, and (d) South America.

Historical Context for Latin American Cultural Influences

       Indigenous Populations. In North America, the indigenous groups that have influenced culture can be divided into three geographical regions: (a) the north region, which was influenced by the American Indian tribes from the southwest (e.g., Navajo) and plains (e.g., Apache); (b) the central region, which was influenced by the Aztecs; and (c) the southeast region, which was influenced by the Maya. Most prominent among these groups were the Aztecs (1420s-1520s), who had a strong cultural and political influence emanating from the geographical heart of modern-day Mexico. Among the cultural influences that can be attributed to these various North American indigenous groups include a strong sense of community values (LaFramboise, 1983), openness (Lee, 1976), generosity (Parfit & Harvey, 1994), and intrinsic motivation through self-challenge (LaFramboise, 1983; Lee, 1976). Mayan cultural influence covered much of Central America and extended into parts of the Caribbean. Mayan cultural contributions include a strong focus on education, self-knowledge and meaning in life (Ramirez, 1998). From a modern psychological perspective, one might view the Mayan culture as incorporating aspects of both existential and cognitive theory. In South America, the Inca provided the widest cultural influence covering a geographical area from Ecuador to Chile. In addition to the influences mentioned earlier, the Inca cultural influence included language (Quecha- spoken by millions of Peruvians and Bolivians today) and respect of other cultural groups. The remainder of South America was influenced by small, isolated indigenous tribal groups clustered along the interior near the Amazon River and along the coastal regions.

       European Colonial Influences. The European nations, particularly Spain and Portugal that colonized Latin America, brought with them their cultural beliefs and practices. Most obvious among them were language (i.e., Spanish and Portuguese) and religion (i.e., Roman Catholicism). Although many indigenous languages, such as Aymara, an Incan language, which is spoken by several million inhabitants of the Andean regions of Peru and Bolivia, still exist and thrive in Latin America; the majority of Latin Americans speak some form of Spanish. Brazilians, however, speak Portuguese. Some countries such as Ecuador speak Spanish primarily, but maintain English as their official language. Therefore, a sport psychology consultant might expect an athlete from Ecuador to have fewer communication problems in the U.S. than an athlete from Peru or Bolivia (but would that necessarily be true?).

       In regard to religion, Brazil (151 million) and Mexico (93 million) are the two largest Roman Catholic countries in the world (BBC News, 2005, April). However, as is the case among religious adherents in many countries, the influence of the church (and religion in general) is decreasing, particularly among younger generations. Religious symbols, however, are displayed prominently in homes and by individuals. In fact, many Latin American athletes can be seen ‘crossing’ themselves before or after a performance. The inhabitants of many Caribbean and coastal sections of South American nations have fused Roman Catholicism with West African and other indigenous religions. Similarly, in Peru, Catholicism has been merged with Incan religious practices to create a hybrid form of Catholicism. More recently, there has been an increase in religious missionaries (primarily from the U.S.) resulting in the conversion of many Latin Americans to Evangelical Christian (e.g., Baptist) and other religions such as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (i.e., Mormons: BBC News, April, 2005).

       The Legacy of Slavery and Influence of West African Culture. West African culture was imported to Latin America by colonial European countries via slavery. The influence of these forceably relocated cultures is most prominent in the Caribbean, northern South America (e.g., Venezuela) and coastal regions of Brazil. In addition to bringing a unique blend of cultural beliefs and practices to Latin America, West African slaves represented a distinct appearance that was unlike the indigenous or European groups already in Latin America. Consequently, their social status was often marginalized. West African culture has persevered in Latin America, and its influences include language, religion, and music. For example, samba music, the lively, beat-driven dance music associated with Brazilian culture infused West African drum beats with the sounds and instruments of Portuguese music.

Cultural versus Political Boundaries

       The preceding historical discussion must be qualified with an understanding that cultural boundaries and political boundaries are not necessarily synonymous in Latin America. One should consider also the geographic region from which an athlete comes in addition to the country. This is particularly true in South America, where countries such as Argentina, Chile and Peru encompass large geographic and cultural distances. Geographical barriers such as the Andes and Amazonian basin that have created many of the political borders share common cultures, which span several modern countries. Moreover, cultural regions in Latin America are often more effectively defined in terms of their association with either European (i.e., Spanish) or indigenous culture. To illustrate, two young professional soccer players from Argentina playing for the same professional team and who are having trouble getting along with each other might be assumed by a sport psychology consultant to share many cultural traits. Their problems are likely a result of where in Argentina the two athletes are from. One player might be a Porteños (i.e., European ancestry and acculturation- meaning literally, ‘from the port’) from Buenos Aires, whereas, the other player might be from the Northwest of Argentina and associate more with the cultural beliefs of the indigenous groups of the Andean region (Foster, Fitch Lockhart, & Lockhart, 1998). Hence, they might harbor stereotypes (Porteños- rude, loud, aggressive; interior Argentines- superstitious and ignorant: Foster et al., 1998) about each other (similar to stereotypes between blacks and whites in the U.S.) that would hinder their ability to get along on the playing field.

The Mestizoization of Latin American Culture

       Mestizoization refers to the confluence or merging of both peoples and cultures from two or more continents (Ramirez, 1998). In Latin America, mestizoization involves various combinations of indigenous groups, Europeans, and West Africans. The resulting mix of cultures, religions, lifestyles and worldviews has created a unique amalgamated culture combining many of the cultural influences discussed above. Working with mestizo athletes can be challenging, as their beliefs and values might reflect multiple cultural influences to varying degrees. Other mestizo athletes might also experience cultural isolation because of their lack of a ‘home culture’ to which to enculturate. Again, this information reinforces the need to consider the individual athlete as well as their level of acculturation.

Summary

       The result of the myriad cultural influences on Latin American culture discussed above has created both distinct cultural groups; and groups that represent an amalgamation of indigenous, European and West African cultural systems, or mestizos as they are commonly called. This Latin American ‘melting pot’ presents a formidable challenge to sport psychology professionals who might work with Latin American athletes. This challenge is made more difficult by the U.S.-centric view of Latin American cultures as a singular cultural group referred to collectively as Hispanics or Latinos.

Awareness, not Universality

       Earlier, we mentioned that a sport psychology consultant might expect an Ecuadorian athlete to have fewer communication issues in the U.S. than an athlete from Peru or Bolivia because English is more commonly spoken in Ecuador than the other countries. This ‘universal’ statement, however, is not necessarily true of each athlete from these countries. Further, certain geographic regions within each country might be more or less likely to speak a certain language. Therefore, as indicated in the applied sport psychology literature (e.g., Hill, 1993), each athlete should be approached as a culturally unique individual, and subsequent services should be tailored to meet the individual athlete’s needs. Andersen (1993) and Kontos and Breland-Noble (2002) cautioned against relying on universalities or ‘sensitive stereotyping’ when working with culturally different athletes. In contrast, an awareness of an athlete’s likely cultural beliefs and practices and their relation to the provision of sport psychology services is useful in fostering the cross-cultural relationship between an athlete and a sport psychology consultant.

Factors Moderating the Influence of Culture

       Many factors including socioeconomic status (SES), geography and gender might affect the generalizability of ‘universal’ traits and should be considered as moderator factors for cultural expression (Dana, 1993). Olmedo (1979) identified three dimensions that moderate any ‘universal’ cultural tendencies among Latin Americans: (a) language [both proficiency and preference] and knowledge/identification with customs, (b) cultural value orientations, and (c) SES. We believe that gender should also be included in this list. The importance of gender’s influence on culture can be seen in the fact that only 36% of female Latinas compared to 52% of non-Latinas participate in sport in the U.S. (National Center for Education Statistics, 2003). In order to truly understand a Latin American athlete, the sport psychology consultant must consider these moderating dimensions of Latin American culture.

       A good example illustrating the importance of these dimensions to sport psychology consulting pertains to athlete assessment. Much of sport psychology assessment (apart from the intake interview) is based on paper and pencil measures. However, as Montgomery and Orozco (1985) demonstrated, use of English-based psychological assessments such as the MMPI can erroneously pathologize Latin Americans who speak English as a second language. Moreover, very few sport psychology measures have been translated or validated in Spanish or other languages spoken by Latin Americans. Clearly, the need for such assessments in sport psychology in the U.S. will increase as the Spanish (and other languages)-speaking segment of the population continues to expand.

An Incomplete Review of Latin American Culture in Relation to Sport Psychology Consulting

       The word “incomplete” in the title of this section refers to the fact that this review does not cover all Latin American cultures or characteristics. Such a paper would require an entire edition or year’s worth of a journal space! For the sake of brevity, we presented only the cultural similarities among Latin American cultural groups that are most salient to sport psychology consulting. In doing so, we admit that this information can only loosely be applied to an individual athlete representing a specific Latin American culture. Therefore, we encourage sport psychology consultants who might work with any of these cultural groups to refer to the sources used for each section to develop a keener understanding of each culture.

Cultural Similarities

       Broadly, Latin Americans groups share several key cultural attributes. With the exception of Brazil and some indigenous regions of Latin America, most Latin Americans speak Spanish. From a spiritual standpoint, an amalgamation of Roman Catholic and indigenous, West African or folk religions are the predominant norm. From a cultural values perspective, Latin Americans, in general, focus on the family (i.e., ‘famalismo’, ‘la familia’…), community (which includes both family and friends), and sense of respect (i.e., ‘respeto’). The focus on family lends itself to a family systems approach to sport psychology, which is not commonly used by sport psychology consultants. Respeto creates a dual set of expectations, as it is determined in part by age, gender, SES and authority (Dana, 1993). By virtue of the sport psychology consultant’s legitimate or official (as part of the sports medicine team) position of authority on the mental side of sport performance, all consultants would be respected by Latin American athletes. An older or male sport psychology consultant might command more initial ‘respeto’ from a Latin American athlete than a younger or female consultant. Much of the Latin American belief system and social standing reflect male-dominated (i.e., ‘machismo’) sex roles and values (Dana). This value system might create a host of issues for a female sport psychology consultant working with a male Latin American athlete, and could even help to explain an athlete’s unwillingness to meet with a consultant.

       The concept of ‘fuerza de espíritu’, which refers to strength in toughness and the ability to endure stress (Castro, Furth, & Karlow, 1985), presents a conundrum for Latin Americans in regard to sport psychology services. Specifically, Latin American athletes who ascribe to ‘fuerza de espiritu’ are less likely to seek help for their problems or performance because it would be viewed as a sign of weakness. Hence, they may attempt to solve their issues on their own and be reticent to see a consultant.

       Several factors related to fostering communication and therapeutic relationships among Latin American athletes are of particular relevance to sport psychology consulting. One such factor is ‘confianza en confianza’ or mutual trust. This level of trust is difficult to develop with any athlete, but can be facilitated with Latin American athletes via generosity and attention to personal issues (Vélez, 1982). ‘Simpatia’ refers to a preferred manner of interaction among Latin Americans. In order to promote ‘simpatia’ with Latin American athletes the sport psychology consultant should employ affiliative and affect-based non-verbal strategies including hand gestures, eye contact, physical contact and other communication regulators; and verbal communication strategies such as paraphrase and emotional reflection and summary (Triandis, Marín, Lisansky, & Betancourt, 1984).

A Multicultural Approach for Working with Latin American Athletes

       Ideally, sport psychology consultants would adopt a multicultural theoretical approach such as the universal (across cultures) or focused culture-specific (cultures one might expect to encounter) approach to their work with all athletes (Kontos & Breland-Noble, 2002). In other words, the effects of culture on the individual athlete should be considered in conjunction with any presenting concerns an athlete might have. However, given the current state of multicultural training in sport psychology programs (Martens et al., 2000) it is likely that many current sport psychology consultants are not properly prepared to incorporate culture into their work with athletes. It is more likely that they will attempt to address cultural issues within their already existing theoretical framework. This approach is fine as along as the sport psychology consultant employs their existing theoretical approach in a meaningful and culturally sensitive manner (Ivey, Ivey & Simek-Morgan, 1997).

       There are several key multicultural issues that are important for providing quality and culturally sensitive sport psychology services to Latin American athletes. In general, Latin American athletes perceive that their psychological problems related to sport are external to themselves and are likely to shift responsibility to someone else (e.g., family, coach) to solve them (Evans, Acosta, Yamamoto & Hurcwicz, 1986). On the surface this might appear to create an opportunity for the psychology consultant to be the person to solve the athlete’s problem using directed techniques such as cognitive behavioral. However, this perception also tends to minimize the ownership of the problem and potential for self-improvement in the athlete. Rogerian and Existentialist approaches might also prove unsuccessful given the focus away from self-ownership. Another important issue is spirituality. Latin American athletes are likely to involve spiritual beliefs in their approach to their problems (Dana, 1993). It is, therefore, important for the sport psychology consultant to attempt to incorporate these beliefs, and be careful not to minimize the relevance of spiritual meaning to the athlete’s problem.

       The provision of services to Latin American athletes might also be influenced by an underlying suspicion of white North American or European sport psychology consultants. This suspicion may hinder the development of ‘confianza’ (confidence) and limit self-disclosure in the relationship, and minimize the impact of any services provided to the athlete (Dana, 1993). Language is another cultural concern. Whenever possible, Latin American athletes should be provided with a sport psychology consultant who speaks their first language. However, as Martens et al. (2000) suggest, this would be difficult given the paucity of diversity, and specifically of Latin Americans, within sport psychology. This point further highlights the need for current sport psychology consultants to be culturally aware and sensitive, and for a conscious effort to recruit and train more culturally different sport psychology consultants.

Conclusion

      There is an increased need for culturally knowledgeable and sensitive sport psychology consulting for Latin American athletes. The role of both the athlete’s and sport psychology consultant’s worldview as well as the athlete’s acculturation level must be considered in the provisions of sport psychology services. From an understanding and awareness perspective it is important to also consider the historical context of the cultural attributes among Latin Americans. Understanding common traits among cultural groups is important, but should not lead to a ‘universal’ approach to working with all athletes from Latin America. Many factors such as geography, SES and gender can affect culture and its effects on athletes. We encourage sport psychology consultants to adopt a multicultural approach to working with athletes from Latin America and other culturally different athletes. Hopefully, this paper will spurn other sport psychology researchers and consultants to expand the literature on Latin American athletes and its application to consulting work with these athletes.

References

       Andersen, M. B. (1993). Questionable sensitivity: A comment on Lee and Rotella. The Sport Psychologist, 7, 1-3.

       BBC News (2005, April). Factfile: Roman Catholics around the world. Retrieved August 12, 2005 from http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/4243727.stm.

       Berry, J. W. (1993). Ethnic identity in plural societies. In M. E. Bernal & G. P. Knight (Eds.), Ethnic identity: Formation and transmission among Hispanics and other minorities (pp. 271-296). Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

       Bretón, M. (2000). Fields of broken dreams: Latinos in baseball [Electronic version]. Colorlines, 3 (1) Retrieved August 12, 2005 from http://www.arc.org/C_Lines/CLArchive/story3_1_04.html.

       Brown, M. T., & Landrum-Brown, J. (1995). Counselor supervision: Cross-cultural perspectives. In J. G. Ponterotto, J. M. Casas, L. A. Suzuki, & C. M. Alexander (Eds.), Handbook of multicultural counseling (pp. 263-286). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

       Castro, F. G., Furth, P., & Karlow, H. (1985). The health beliefs of Mexican, Mexican American and Anglo American women. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 6, 365-383.

       Cuellar, I., Harris, I. C., & Jasso, R. (1980). An acculturation scale for Mexican American normal and clinical populations. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Science, 2, 199-217.

       Dana, R. H. (1993). Multicultural assessment perspectives for professional psychology. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn and Bacon.

       Evans, L. A., Acosta, F. X., Yamamoto, J., & Hurcwicz, H. L. (1986). Patient requests: Correlates and therapeutic implications for Hispanic, Black and Caucasian patients. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 42, 213-221.

       Foster, D. W., Fitch Lockhart, M., & Lockhart, D. B. (1998). Culture and customs of Argentina. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

       Garcia, M., & Lega, L. I. (1979). Development of a Cuban Ethnic Identity Questionnaire. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 1, 247-261.

       Hill, T. L. (1993). Sport psychology and the collegiate athlete: One size does not fit all. The Counseling Psychologist, 21 (3), 436-440.

       Ivey, A. E., Bradford Ivey, M., & Simek-Morgan, L. (1997). Counseling and psychotherapy: A multicultural perspective (4th ed.) . Needham Heights, MA: Allyn and Bacon.

       Kontos A. P., & Breland-Noble, A. M. (2002). Racial/ethnici diversity in applied sport psychology: A multicultural introduction to working with athletes of color. The Sport Psychologist, 16, 296-315.

       LaFramboise, T. (1983). Assertion training with American Indians. Las Cruces, NM: ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools.

       Lapchick, R. (2005). The 2004 Racial and gender report card: Major League Soccer. University of Central Florida.

       Landrine, H., & Klonoff, E. A. (1994). The African American Acculturation Scale: Development,reliability, and validity. Journal of Black Psychology, 20, 104-127.

       Lee, D. (1976). Valuing the self: What we can learn from other cultures. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

       Marin, G., Sabogal, F., VanOss Marin, B., Otero-Sabogal, R., & Perez-Stable, E. J. (1987). Development of a short acculturation scale for Hispanics. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Science, 9, 183-205.

       Martens, M. P., Mobley, M., & Zizzi, S. J. (2000). Multicultural training in applied sport psychology. The Sport Psychologist, 14, 81-97.

       Montgomery, G. T., & Orozco, S. (1985). Mexican Americans’ performance on the MMPI as a function of level of acculturation. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 41, 203-212.

       National Collegiate Athletic Association, (2003). 1999-2000/2001-2002 student-athlete ethnicity report.

       Olmedo, E. L. (1979). Acculturation: A psychometric perspective. American Psychologist, 34, 1061-1070.

       Olmedo, E. L., Martinez, J. L., Jr. & Martinez, S. R. (1978). Measure acculturation for Chicano adolescents. Psychological Reports, 42, 159-170.

       Parfit, M., & Harvey, A. D. (1994). Powwow. National Geographic, June, pp. 88-113.

       Ramirez, M., III. (1998). Multicultural/multiracial psychology: Mestizo perspectives in personality and mental health. Northvale, NJ: Aronson.

       Ramirez, M., III. (1984). Assessing and understanding biculturalism-multiculturalism in Mexican-American adults. In J. L. Martinez, Jr., & R. H. Mendoza (Eds.), Chicano psychology (pp. 77-94). Orlando, FL: Academic Press.

       Ryan, E. (1947). What is “Latin America”? The Americas, 3 (4), 487-492.

       Sue, D. (1981). Counseling the culturally different. New York: Wiley.

       Sue, D., & Sue, D. W. (1999). Counseling the culturally different: Theory and practice (3 ed.). New York: Wiley.

       Triandis, H.C., Marín, G., Lisansky, J., & Betancourt, H. (1984). Simpatia as a cultural script for Hispanics. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 47, 1363-1375.

       U.S. Census Bureau (2001). An overview of race and Hispanic origin: A census brief. Washington, DC: U.S. Census Bureau, Census 2000 Redistricting (Public Law 94-171) Summary.

       National Center for Education Statistics (2005, March). A profile of the America high school sophomore in 2002. U.S. Department of Education: Washington, DC: Author.

       Vélez, C. G. (1982). Mexicano/Hispano support systems and confianza: Theoretical issues of cultural adaptation. In R. Valle & W. Vega (Eds.), Hispanic natural support systems: Mental health promotion perspectives (pp. 45-54). Sacremento, CA: State of California, Department of Mental Health.

Click here for JobsInSports.com

Corresponding Author: Anthony P. Kontos, Ph.D., 109 Human Performance Center, University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA 70148, Phone- 504-280-6361, Fax- 504-280-6018, Email: akontos@uno.edu

We look forward to your comments and feedback.  Simply e-mail Athletic Insight.
Athletic Insight - The Online Journal of Sport Psychology: Line Mental Health Net Award Winner
Copyright © 2005 Athletic Insight, Inc.
ISSN 1536-0431