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Dr Eoin King

Post-Doctoral Research Assistant: Physical Activity and Wellbeing Promotion

Sport & Physical Activity

Headshot of Eoin King

Department: Sport & Physical Activity

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Lectuer in Sport, Physical Activity and Health. My PhD research explores the mental health and work experiences of 34 dual-career coaches in Northern Ireland. It examines coaches’ mental health experiences, and those of individuals in their interdependent networks, to better understand how they each manage and support their mental health within their personal lives, coaching work, and non-coaching work. The analysis from semi-structured interviews reveals that coaches share various lived experiences of chronic and episodic mental illness, including depression and anxiety, as well as attempted suicide and suicidal ideation. These findings reveal the significance of work as a social determinant of coach mental health. Coaches are subject to shame, stigma, and stress in their non-coaching and coaching-oriented work. By eschewing a reductionist perspective of mental health in sport that typically informs existing research this research demonstrates that their interdependent networks and social relationships, inside and away from coaching and non-coaching work, have a significant impact on mental health.