Getting Angry When Playing Tennis: Gender Differences and Impact on Performance

in Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology
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  • 1 University of Valle d’Aosta
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The study examined the impact of gender and gender role identification on anger felt while playing tennis and its consequences on performance. A total of 180 recreational tennis players (92 male, 88 female) self-reported frequency, intensity, and duration of anger they felt during tennis matches and perceived effects on performance; Staxi-2 was used to measure internal/external anger control and expression, and PAQ to measure gender role identification. Results showed no gender differences in the subjective experience of anger, whereas gender differences do emerge in its regulation strategies and expression: men express anger outwardly and women use internalization strategies and suppression. A structural equation model suggested that internally controlling anger and outwardly expressing it has positive impacts on performance, while anger intensity may worsen performance, particularly in female players. The extra energy needed to comply with the gender appropriateness of the anger expression determines a more negative impact on females’ performance.

Monaci and Veronesi are with the Dept. of Human and Social Sciences, University of Valle d’Aosta, Aosta, Italy.

Address author correspondence to Maria Grazia Monaci at m.monaci@univda.it.
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