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J. Robert Grove and N. Paul Heard

Sport performers (N = 213) completed either a questionnaire measure of dispositional optimism or a questionnaire measure of trait sport confidence and then provided information about how they cope with performance slumps. The use of task-focused, emotion-focused, and avoidance-oriented coping strategies was assessed with a slump-referenced version of the Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations (CISS; Endler & Parker, 1990a). Results indicated that both personality measures were positively related to the use of problem-focused strategies and negatively related to the use of emotion-focused strategies. These findings are discussed in relation to previous research on confidence in sport and a model of sport-related coping proposed by Hardy, Jones, and Gould (1996). Practical implications for the effective management of performance slumps are also addressed.

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Robert C. Eklund, J. Robert Grove, and N. Paul Heard

The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate four psychometric models for Carver, Scheier, and Weintraub’s (1989) COPE inventory, and for Crocker and Graham’s (1995) sport-specific modification of the COPE inventory for measurement of individual differences in coping with sport-related stress. Slumping athletic performance (i.e., an extended, unexplained loss of competitive form) was employed as the frame of reference for the coping responses. Data collected from 1,491 athletes (870 for the COPE analyses and 621 for the Modified-COPE analyses) were evaluated in the empirical, double cross-validation design analyses (Cudeck & Browne, 1983). Results revealed a 14-factor model of the COPE inventory and a 10-factor model of the Modified-COPE inventory as the most appropriate psychometric models for these inventories in examining slump-related coping among athletes.