This study assessed the hormonal and psychological responses to a free-throw shooting competition in twelve NCAA Division I female collegiate basketball players. Salivary cortisol, alpha-amylase, and testosterone were collected before and after the competition, in addition to a self-reported measure of anxiety. Using nonparametric statistics, cortisol (Z = –3.06, p = .002) and testosterone (Z = –2.67, p = .008) levels were significantly higher precompetition compared with postcompetition. There were no statistically significant differences between winners and losers for anxiety or hormone responses. Concentration disruption (rho = .63, p = .03) and total competitive anxiety (rho = .68, p = .02) were positively correlated with precompetition cortisol. Concentration disruption also correlated positively with postcompetition cortisol (rho = .62 p = .03) and postcompetition testosterone (rho = .64, p = .03). Future studies are needed to examine the psychological and physiological stress responses of basketball players during different competition tasks.
Leilani A. Madrigal and Patrick B. Wilson
Patrick B. Wilson and Leilani A. Madrigal
Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have important physiological functions and may offer select benefits for athletic performance and recovery. The purpose of this investigation was to assess dietary and whole blood omega-3 PUFAs among collegiate athletes. In addition, a brief questionnaire was evaluated as a valid tool for quantifying omega-3 PUFA intake. Fifty-eight athletes (9 males, 49 females) completed a 21-item questionnaire developed to assess omega-3 PUFA intake and provided dried whole blood samples to quantify α-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and the HS-Omega-3 Index. Geometric means (95% confidence intervals) for the HS-Omega-3 Index were 4.79% (4.37–5.25%) and 4.75% (4.50–5.01%) for males and females, respectively. Median dietary intakes of ALA, EPA, and DHA were all below 100 mg. Among females, several dietary omega-3 PUFA variables were positively associated with whole blood EPA, with total EPA (rho = 0.67, p < .001) and total DHA (rho = 0.69, p < .001) intakes showing the strongest correlations. Whole blood DHA among females showed positive associations with dietary intakes, with total EPA (rho = 0.62, p < .001) and total DHA (rho = 0.64, p < .001) intakes demonstrating the strongest correlations. The HS-Omega-3 Index in females was positively correlated with all dietary variables except ALA. Among males, the only significant correlation was between food and whole blood EPA (rho = 0.83, p < .01). Collegiate athletes had relatively low intakes of omega-3 PUFAs. A 21-item questionnaire may be useful for screening female athletes for poor omega-3 PUFA status.
Leilani A. Madrigal, Vincenzo Roma, Todd Caze, Arthur Maerlender, and Debra Hope
This study aimed to provide further psychometric validation of the Sport Anxiety Scale-2 (SAS-2) by assessing the factor structure, invariance across gender, and convergent and divergent validity of the SAS-2 by correlating both related (i.e., anxiety sensitivity, brief fear of negative evaluation, intolerance of uncertainty, and negative affect) and unrelated constructs (i.e., positive affect, self-confidence). A total of 542 current and former competitive athletes completed a questionnaire through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk system. All data were collected via online survey. Participants were randomly assigned to an exploratory factor analysis (n = 271) and confirmatory factor analysis group (n = 271). Results indicated that both exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses supported the three-factor model of anxiety involving somatic anxiety, worry, and concentration disruption. Additionally, this study found the SAS-2 to be reliable, gender invariant, and have strong construct validity. Our findings extend the generalizability of the SAS-2 in more varied populations of athletic backgrounds.