Psychological Predictors of State Anxiety and Performance in Age-Group Wrestlers

in Pediatric Exercise Science
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This study examined psychological correlates of performance in youth wrestlers by replicating and extending the findings of Scanlan et al. (18). A secondary purpose was to replicate and extend work on antecedents of pre- and postcompetitive state anxiety. A total of 202 youth wrestlers, ages 13 and 14, completed a background questionnaire assessing demographic characteristics, trait anxiety, achievement orientations, and characteristic prematch cognitions prior to participating in an age-group wrestling tournament. Prematch performance expectancies and prematch state anxiety were also assessed 10 to 20 minutes before Rounds 1 and 2 of the tournament. Postmatch assessments of satisfaction and state anxiety were conducted immediately after both bouts. Results partially replicated those of Scanlan et al. (18), that is, wrestlers who performed best had more years of experience and higher prematch performance expectancies. Pre- and postmatch competitive state anxiety antecedent variables of trait anxiety, prematch performance expectancies, and parental-pressure-to-participate anxiety were also replicated.

Daniel Gould and Robert C. Eklund are with the Dept. of Exercise and Sport Science at the U. of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC 27412. Linda Petlichkoff is with the Dept. of HPER, Boise State U., Boise, ID 83725. Kirsten Peterson is with the Dept. of Counseling at the U. of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801. Linda Bump is with Human Kinetics Publishers, Champaign, IL.