Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Behavior Analysis and Therapy

First Advisor

Dixon, Mark


Rock climbing has been growing increasingly popular in the United States and around the world. Rock climbers frequently climb in the presence of fear and anxiety. Often climbers make mistakes while climbing that increase the potential for accidents and injuries. One area in which behavioral interventions have targeted sports performance is through the use of acceptance and commit training methods. Research has suggested that components of ACT may improve athletic performance such as present moment awareness, values clarification, and acceptance of challenging thoughts while performing. Studies have looked at the effects of training athletes within various sports such as basketball, powerlifting, swimming and golfing. Common skills that have been targeted include flow, attention to task, and goals/values identification. At this time, there has not been any research examining the impact of ACT on rock climbing performance. The current study examined the effects of ACT on rock climbing performance in two participants who frequently engaged in recreational rock climbing in a multiple baseline design across participants. Participants received ACT lessons prior to climbing and were assessed on falls and errors, speed, and heart rate. Results for both participants demonstrated improvements in decreasing falls and errors and increasing speed. There was no effect seen on heart rate. A second component of feedback on errors was added for participant one to further reduce errors.




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