Cognitive-Affective Stress Management Training with High Performance Youth Volleyball Players: Effects on Affect, Cognition, and Performance

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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Cognitive-Affective Stress Management Training (SMT) is a coping skills training program designed to help athletes control dysfunctional stress processes (Smith, 1980). The present quasi-experimental study investigated the effects of SMT on affect, cognition, and performance in high performance youth volleyball players. Members of Alberta's Canada Games men's and women's (under 19 years of age) volleyball teams were assigned to either an experimental treatment group or a waiting-list control group. The treatment program consisted of eight modules, approximately 1 week apart, that allowed subjects to learn and apply somatic and cognitive coping skills. The results indicated that the treatment group emitted fewer negative thoughts in response to videotaped stressors and had superior service reception performance in a controlled practice compared to the control group. There were no interpretable differences between groups for either state anxiety (CSAI-2) or trait anxiety (SCAT). The cognitive and performance measures provided converging support for Smith's program. The results are discussed in terms of coping skills training, theoretical issues regarding the measurement of anxiety, and possible affect-cognition system independence.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Peter R.E. Crocker, School of Physical Education, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada P7B 5E9.

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