Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Sinéad Doyle 

BSc [Hons] Applied Psychology

I am a soon to be applied psychology graduate with a keen interest in sport psychology, health psychology and educational psychology. Studying applied psychology has given me a greater understanding of the way people behave in everyday life. I plan to use the knowledge I have acquired from my applied psychology studies to build a career helping others, potentially individuals with sport injuries or physical and mental disabilities. My next goal is to obtain a medical postgraduate qualification.

Project Description

My major research project analysed the ways in which Irish and British elite and Paralympic/Olympic athletes appeared to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, using their Instagram posts as the data source.

Project Objectives

My study employed a thematic analysis of Instagram posts to explore the ways in which elite and Paralympic/Olympic athletes navigated the COVID-19 pandemic. The specific research questions were: How did elite athletes appear to navigate the pandemic: (i) during the COVID-19 national lockdown restrictions and (ii) during the return to sport and competition phase?

Project Outcomes

The participants' ages ranged from 20 to 43 years (N=20, M= 28.1, SD= 5.28). The results revealed the most prominent theme observed in time phase 1 (during the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions) was 'health', which was evident in 31.88% of the posts analysed. In time phase 2 (during the return to sport and competition), the 'return to sport' theme was most evident in the analysed posts (35.00%). Overall, one hundred and five observations for the two time phases combined were recorded. An inter-rater reliability analysis demonstrated high agreement for the identified themes between the main researcher and a second independent coder (κ =.718, p = .001).