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Features of Intellectual Functions Inhibition among Ukrainian Boxers: A Sociocultural Study
Andreyanna IVANCHENKO Contact / Kontakt / Kapcsolat, Olexander TIMCHENKO, Adriano ZAMPERINI, Ines TESTONI, 
Olena GANT & Iaroslava MALYK
EJMH Vol 15 Issue 1 (2020) 23-37; https://doi.org/10.5708/EJMH.15.2020.1.2
Received: 3 April 2019; accepted: 1 March 2020; online date: 15 June 2020
Section: Research Papers
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Abstract

The effects of boxing’s extreme aggressive conditions in training and competitive activity in
sportsmen’s mental working capacity still remains under-explored. While the neurophysiological
effects caused by micro traumas to the brain have been extensively studied, less attention has been
paid to the psychological consequences. This article reports on our study of the features of mental
operations efficiency in Ukrainian boxers. The study involved athletes (n = 168, gender: men, average
age: 25.5 ± 6.2 years), who were engaged in boxing and kickboxing in the Ukraine’s eastern
region. A ‘Classification’ method was used: a set of 70 cards with the images of various objects,
plants, and living beings was given with instructions to arrange the items into groups in such a way
that the objects in each concrete group possess common properties. Athletes were divided into
groups, depending on the level of their sport qualification. Adopting the Vygotskian perspective,
this study shows correlations between the productivity of boxers’ thinking processes and the level
of their sport skills: highly qualified sportsmen have many more well-marked thinking process
defects than the sportsmen of the 2nd and 3rd categories. We observed a decrease in the generalization
level, reduction in speed, deterioration of neurodynamic characteristics and criticality
processes nearly in all participants. Exhaustibility and decrease in mental working capacity, impulsiveness
of thinking, and its unproductive transformation were marked more often among the
highly skilled boxers. A discussion on the cultural redefinition of this sport and on the necessary
rehabilitative treatments is then presented.

Keywords

Vygotskian perspective, aggressive sport, boxing, intellectual functions impairments,
mental exhaustibility, psychological deterioration

Corresponding author

Dr. Andreyanna IVANCHENKO
Department of Psychology
Higher Educational Institution
Interregional Academy
of Personnel Management
3, Beketova st., UA-61007 Kharkov
Ukraine
andreyan@libero.it

Co-authors

Dr. Olexander TIMCHENKO: National University of Civil Protection of Ukraine; Ukraine

Adriano ZAMPERINI: University of Padua; Italy

Ines TESTONI: University of Padua; Italy

Dr. Olena GANT: Kharkov State Academy of Physical Culture; Ukraine

Dr. Iaroslava MALYK: Kharkov State Academy of Physical Culture; Ukraine