This study investigated the nature of the relationship between precompetitive state anxiety (CSAI-2C), subjective (race position) and objective (satisfaction) performance outcomes, and self-rated causal attributions (CDS-IIC) for performance in competitive child swimmers. Race position, subjective satisfaction, self-confidence, and, to a lesser extent, cognitive state anxiety (but not somatic state anxiety) were associated with the attributions provided by the children for their swimming performance. The study partially supported the self-serving bias hypothesis; winners used the ego-enhancing attributional strategy, but the losers did not use an ego-protecting attributional style. Age but not gender appeared to influence the attributions provided in achievement situations.
Polman and Levy are with the Dept. of Sport, Health & Exercise Science, The University of Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, HU6 7RX UK. Rowcliffe and Borkoles are with the School of Sport, Exercise & PE, Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds, LS6 3QS UK.