Self-presentation by definition is “the process by which people monitor and control the impressions others form of them in social situations (Leary & Kowalski, 1990). In essence, this is impression management in which we are able to omit or present aspects of the self in order to make a desired impression. Self-presentation may be a an issue that leads to risky behaviors, sport choice, anxiety, and self-handicapping.
Research has shown that self-presentation affects athletes in many ways. Research of sources of stress during competition showed that the most frequent source of stress was significant others, competitive anxiety, and social-evaluation and self-presentation (James, & Collins, 1997). The largest stressor reported was stress from a significant other where ninety percent of participants reported that at least one individual caused stress. Social-evaluation and self-presentation were also found to be a stressor in 65% of people involved in the study. That many athletes feel the need to meet others expectations, prove their worth or fear being criticized due to socially determined goals.
Prior research has also shown that athletes may participate in self-presentational process which relate to health-damaging behaviors. These behaviors may contain drug abuse, not wearing proper safety equipment, and failing to seek medical attention when needed (Ginis, & Leary, 2004). Only limited research has been completed with regard to desired impression and health risk behaviors. Undependable evidence does support that there is such a relationship between risking ones health in order to promote a desired self-impression. Research has also found that athletes find a favorable image with regard to playing hurt, or “playing through the pain” (Putukian, 1998). This favorable view of “playing through pain” may lead athletes to take risk that put their own health in jeopardy.
The main rationale is to explore the self-presentational factors that individuals portray in order to present one as they would like to be seen .
Participants were chosen based on competition of play, and particular sport that they participate in. Interviews were arranged by attending a practice and explaining the main goal of the interview. Once the main purpose was explained athletes were asked if they wish to volunteer for the research. Two individuals volunteered, a male, 19 years old, cross country & track athlete, and competes at the division 1 collegiate level. The second a female, 22 years old, cross country & track athlete, and competes at the division 1 collegiate level.
A thematic analysis was used to analyze the data that was collected. When reviewing the interview, statements were grouped into the four different themes. This allowed the ability to interview the participants without attempting to steer the conversation. The conversation was allowed to go the direction that participants wished for it to. This allowed the interviewer to only intervene when...