There were two main purposes in the present study. The first was to identify the nature of the self-handicaps reported by elite female and male athletes (N = 245). School commitments and sport problems represented the most frequently cited impediments. Female athletes reported a significantly greater number of disruptions and had a greater tendency to report that sport problems, physical state/illness, and family/friend problems hindered their preparation. The second purpose was to determine whether cohesion would moderate the extent to which athletes would use self-handicapping strategies prior to competition. Hierarchical multiple regression revealed that cohesion was a moderator in the relationship between the trait of self-handicapping (Excuse Making) and the use of self-handicapping for both female and male elite athletes. Results of post hoc analyses indicated that athletes who were highly predisposed to self-handicap and who perceived their group as more cohesive, had a greater tendency to proactively perceive impediments to subsequent performance.
Heather A. Hausenblas and Albert V. Carron are with the Faculty of Kinesiology at the University of Western Ontario, Thames Hall, London, ON Canada N6A 3K7.