Grounded in Lazarus’s (1991, 1999, 2000) cognitive-motivational-relational theory of emotions, we tested a model of achievement goals, stress appraisals, emotions, and coping. We predicted that precompetitive achievement goals would be associated with appraisals, appraisals with emotions, and emotions with coping in our model. The mediating effects of emotions among the overall sample of 827 athletes and two stratified random subsamples were also explored. The results of this study support our proposed model in the overall sample and the stratified subsamples. Further, emotion mediated the relationship between appraisal and coping. Mediation analyses revealed that there were indirect effects of pleasant and unpleasant emotions, which indicates the importance of examining multiple emotions to reveal a more accurate representation of the overall stress process. Our findings indicate that both appraisals and emotions are just as important in shaping coping.
Adam R. Nicholls is with the Department of Sport, Health, and Exercise Sciences, University of Hull, Hull, UK. John L. Perry is with the Department of Sport, Health, and Nutrition, Leeds Trinity University, Leeds, UK. Luis Calmeiro is with the School of Applied Social Sciences, Durham University, UK.