The Effect of Group Cohesion on Competitive State Anxiety

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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  • 1 Southern Cross University
  • | 2 University of Western Ontario
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One purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between cohesion and competitive state anxiety (A-state). If a cohesion-competition A-state relationship was obtained, the second purpose was to determine whether the perceived psychological benefits and/or psychological costs of cohesiveness mediate that relationship. In order to examine these issues, a sample of interactive sport-team athletes (N = 110) completed the Group Environment Questionnaire (GEQ; Carron, Widmeyer, & Brawley, 1985) and items related to the perceived psychological benefits and costs of membership in cohesive groups. In addition, athletes completed the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory–2 (CSAI-2; Martens, Burton, Vealey, Bump, & Smith, 1990) prior to competition. Results showed that cohesion was related to A-state responses (p < .004). Specifically, individuals holding higher perceptions of task cohesion reported less cognitive A-state. Results also showed that psychological costs associated with membership on cohesive teams mediates the cohesion–A-state relationship.

Harry Prapavessis is now with the Sport Science Programme, Division of Science and Technology at the University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand. Albert V. Carron is with the Faculty of Kinesiology at the University of Western Ontario, London, ON Canada N6A 3K7.

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