Title

Empirical Development of a Screening Method for Mental, Social, and Physical Wellness in Amateur and Professional Circus Artists

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

8-1-2020

Publication Title

Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts

Volume

14

Issue

3

First page number:

313

Last page number:

324

Abstract

© 2018 American Psychological Association. There is limited information available to assist evidence-supported detection and referral of mental, social, and physical health issues affecting performance in circus artists. Therefore, this study examines mental, social, and physical health of artists in 2 circus settings (circus school, professional circus). The specific aims were to assess overall health and develop data-informed wellness screening methods in these populations, assisting referral guidelines for performance and health optimization. A comprehensive psychometrically validated battery of standardized measures was administered to 109 professional circus artists employed by Cirque du Soleil and students enrolled in the National Circus School. Compared with students, professionals reported significantly fewer problems with social isolation, fatigue, and factors that interfere with circus performance specific to shows/evaluations; they also reported greater satisfaction in their social roles and overall circus performance. Professionals also reported significantly less severe depression, and greater receipt of emotional and informational support compared with normative samples. Scores of students were similar to those of normative samples, although their scores measuring anxiety and fatigue were higher. There were no significant differences between professionals and students in perceived interferences during training, or circus-related problems with coaches and classmates/coworkers. For all participants, scores on measures of mental, social, and physical health were negatively associated with factors reported to interfere with circus performance. Participant responses to the measures were used to develop guidelines to facilitate detection of factors interfering with performance and to assist informed referrals.

Keywords

Circus; Health; Performance; Referral; Screening

Disciplines

Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Language

English

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