Practitioners in search of an identity: a Delphi study of sport psychology professional identity

Alessandro Quartiroli, Christopher R.D. Wagstaff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The existence of a professional identity among sport psychology practitioners (SPPs) can increase ethical and effective practice while also leading to more satisfactory careers and advancing awareness of professional roles. There is currently no consensus regarding a sport psychology professional identity (SPPI), a definition of this construct, and the factors influencing it. As such, in the present study, we sought consensus on a definition of SPPI and aimed to identify associated factors. A multinational panel of 39 SPPs from 6 different continents participated in a 3-round Delphi study. The panelists in this study, who were recruited based on their applied and scholarly experiences, constructed a shared definition of SPPI as an individual’s professional self-concept concerning their sense of belonging and fit within the sport psychology profession. Further, the panelists also constructed a list of factors supporting (n = 13; e.g., knowledge and philosophy of the profession, personal meaning) and hindering (n = 10; e.g., isolation, non-traditional roles, lack of practitioner-environment fit) the development of SPPI. Professional organizations might use these results to advance professional development and training by integrating them into curricula for qualification processes. A clear understanding of what SPPI is and the factors that foster and hinder its development can support practitioners’ wellbeing and practice as well as raise public awareness of what is the sport psychology profession.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102567
Number of pages13
JournalPsychology of Sport and Exercise
Early online date5 Dec 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2024


  • Professional practice
  • Professional development
  • Professional training
  • Delphi method

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