In the 2015 finals of La Trobe’s 3MT competition, Hannah MacDougall presented her PhD research as one of the finalists, and did exceptionally well in finishing as runner up. Hannah is undertaking her PhD in Sport Management in the Department of Management and Marketing in LBS, and is supervised by Dr Emma Sherry, Professor Nora Shields and Dr Paul O’Halloran.

Hannah’s PhD, which she is currently completing by publication, focuses on the topic of Athlete Well-Being. The first stage of her PhD was a systematic review that compared the well-being of Australian Para and Olympic Sport athletes. Meta-analyses revealed that Para athletes, compared with Olympic sport athletes, had lower levels of self-acceptance, indicated by athletic identity, and body-image perceptions, and differed from Olympic sport athletes in terms of their motivation, indicated by a greater mastery-oriented climate. The review also indicated a need to establish the well-being of Para and Olympic sport athletes using valid and reliable measures of well-being, as well as determine what well-being means in the Para sport context.

The second stage of Hannah‘s PhD investigated the well-being needs and strengths of Para athletes in a global and sport-specific context.  The qualitative study found that the well-being needs and strengths of Para athletes differed across gender, sport, level of competition, and nature of impairment. Well-being needs were an interaction between physical pain, emotional regulation, lacking purpose outside of sport, and a lack of self-acceptance, especially for athletes with acquired impairments. Well-being strengths were perceived to increase as athletes increased their level of competition, and included personal growth, optimism, strong social support networks, and contributing to multiple communities.

The third stage will establish the well-being levels of Para and Olympic Sport athletes, and determine if there are any significant differences between these two groups as well as significant differences between congenital and acquired Para athletes. The quantitative study was conducted through an online survey and had 309 participants. Hannah is currently in the process of analysing her data.

The fourth and final stage of her PhD will be a targeted well-being RCT for Para athletes. The RCT will be 8 x 1hr individual face-to-face sessions and focus on training attentional focus and strengthening the brain muscle of athletes. The RCT will be conducted from November 2015 – February 2016. Watch her three-minute pitch of this thesis above.

The La Trobe 3MT final was held on the 2nd of September in the John Scott Meeting House and saw 8 finalists battle it out for the right to represent La Trobe at the 3MT Tran-Tasman final held in October in Queensland. The level of competition between candidates saw extremely high quality presentations and topics range from vocal health for Aussie Basketball coaches to ‘Avoiding Robots’. With great prizes up for grabs, the people’s choice and overall winner of the La Trobe 3MT thesis went to Jen Wiltshire with her presentation on ‘Why I love dirt’.

3MT® is a research-communication competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ). The exercise challenges PhD candidates to present a compelling oration on their thesis topic and its significance in just three minutes. 3MT® develops academic, presentation, and research-communication skills and supports the development of research students’ capacity to effectively explain their research in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience.

La Trobe Business School would like to congratulate Hannah for her great presentation in the 3MT finals!

Emma Sherry Hannah MacDougall 3MT Finalist from La Trobe Business School a leg up to well-being

Hannah MacDougall 3MT Finalist from La Trobe Business School a leg up to well-being