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Roger Feltman and Andrew J. Elliot

Recent research has revealed that a person or team wearing red is more likely to win a physical contest than a person or team wearing another color. In the present research, we examined whether red influences perceptions of relative dominance and threat in an imagined same-sex competitive context, and did so attending to the distinction between wearing red oneself and viewing red on an opponent. Results revealed a bidirectional effect: wearing red enhanced perceptions of one’s relative dominance and threat, and viewing an opponent in red enhanced perceptions of the opponent’s relative dominance and threat. These effects were observed across sex, and participants seemed unaware of the influence of red on their responses. Our findings lead to practical suggestions regarding the use of colored attire in sport contexts, and add to an emerging, provocative literature indicating that red has a subtle but important influence on psychological functioning.

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Richard R Albrecht and Deborah L. Feltz

The Test of Attentional and Interpersonal Style (TAIS) was developed as an objective measure by which an individual's attentional predisposition could be identified and used to predict performance on a variety of tasks. The present study had three purposes: (a) to construct a baseball/softball batting (B-TAIS) version of each TAIS attentional subscale, (b) to compare TAIS and B-TAIS reliability, and (c) to compare TAIS and B-TAIS validity. Both instruments were administered to 29 intercollegiate baseball and softball players. The B-TAIS demonstrated slightly higher test-restest reliability on five of the six attentional subscales and was higher than the TAIS in internal consistency on all subscales. Batting performance was positively related to all B-TAIS subscales assessing effective attentional deployment and negatively related to all subscales assessing ineffective attention. Significant positive correlations also existed between B-TAIS ineffective subscale scores and competitive trait anxiety. However, these relationships were not found with the general TAIS.

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Robert G. McCulloch, Donald A. Bailey, Robert L. Whalen, C. Stuart Houston, Robert A. Faulkner and Bruce R. Craven

This cross-sectional study compared differences in os calcis bone density and distal radius bone mineral content (BMC) among adolescent soccer players, competitive swimmers, and control subjects. Sixty-eight males and females (23 soccer players, 20 swimmers, 25 controls) ages 13 to 17 served as subjects. The results for os calcis trabecular density indicate a trend that may be of clinical significance and that may warrant further study. The swimmers had the lowest os calcis density in both sexes whereas the soccer players had the highest bone density at this weight-bearing site (F=2.54, p<.08). No differences with respect to distal radius BMC were observed among activity groups or between sexes.

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Deborah L. Feltz, Cathy D. Lirgg and Richard R. Albrecht

Eighteen elite young distance runners were followed over a 5-year period and examined on their perceptions of parental involvement, commitment, anxiety, and sources of worry as these variables pertained to their competitive running. Results showed that the runners received good parental support and possessed a relatively high level of commitment to running, but that both parental involvement and commitment declined over the 5 years. Fathers were seen as being more involved in their children’s running than mothers were. Also, females were somewhat more committed to running than males were. Males and females exhibited similar anxiety scores and these scores did not increase significantly over time. There was no evidence that these runners suffered excessive anxiety.

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Daniel Gould, Eileen Udry, Suzanne Tuffey and James Loehr

This is the third in a series of manuscripts reporting results from a research project designed to examine burnout in competitive junior tennis players. Individual differences in burnout are examined by discussing idiographic profiles from three athletes who were identified as having burned out in the earlier phases of the project. These cases were chosen as they represented different substrains of social psychologically driven and physically driven burnout. In particular, the three cases included: (a) a player characterized by high levels of perfectionism and overtraining; (b) a player who experienced pressure from others and a need for a social life; and (c) a player who was physically overtrained and had inappropriate goals. It was concluded that although important patterns result from content analyses across participants, the unique experience of each individual must be recognized.

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Owen Thomas, Ian Maynard and Sheldon Hanton

Competitive anxiety and self-confidence were examined temporally in “facilitators,” “debilitators,” and “mixed interpreters” using the modified CSAI-2 (intensity, direction, frequency). MANOVA’s (group X time-to-competition) and follow-up tests revealed no significant interactions but revealed significant main effects for both factors. Facilitators displayed increased intensities of self-confidence, more positive interpretations of cognitive and somatic symptoms, increased frequency of self-confidence, and decreased frequency of cognitive symptoms than debilitators through performance preparation. Time-to-competition effects indicated intensities of cognitive and somatic responses increased, and self-confidence decreased near competition. Directional perceptions of cognitive and somatic responses became less positive, and the frequency of these symptoms increased toward the event. Findings have implications for intervention design and timing and emphasize the importance of viewing symptoms over temporal phases.

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Megan L. Babkes and Maureen R. Weiss

This study examined the relationship between children’s perceptions of parental influence and their psychosocial responses to competitive soccer participation. Female (n = 114) and male (n = 113) athletes completed self-reports of soccer competence, enjoyment, intrinsic motivation, and parents’ influence on their participation. Mothers (n = 160) and fathers (n = 123) reported their own attitudes and behaviors toward their child’s participation. Regression analyses revealed that mothers and fathers who were perceived as positive exercise role models, who had more positive beliefs about their child’s competency, and who gave more frequent positive contingent responses to performance successes were associated with athletes who had higher perceived competence, enjoyment, and intrinsic motivation. Children who also perceived their fathers as being more involved in their soccer participation and exerting lower amounts of pressure to perform had more positive psychosocial responses. However, a nonsignificant relationship was found for mother and father reported influence with children’s psychosocial responses.

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Peter R.E. Crocker and Thomas R. Graham

This study evaluated patterns of coping, relationships between coping and negative and positive affect, and gender differences in coping and affect in competitive athletes. A sample of 235 female and male athletes reported recent stressful performance situations and indicated appraisals related to performance goals, coping, and affective responses. Lack of goal attainment (goal incongruence) was used as a measure of stress. Group means for coping indicated that athletes primarily used strategies such as increasing effort, planning, suppressing competing activities, active coping, and self-blame. Females used higher levels of seeking social support for emotional reasons and increasing effort to manage goal frustration. Males experienced higher levels of positive affect. For positive affect, regression analysis found a significant five-variable solution (R 2 = .31). For negative affect, there was also a significant five-variable solution (R 2 = .38). The gender differences were not congruent with views that males would use higher levels of problem-focused coping.

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Naomi Fejgin

Longitudinal data from a nationally representative sample of 10th graders (National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988 First Follow-Up) were used to assess the net effect of athletic participation on student outcomes after controlling for student background and 8th-grade measures of the dependent variables. The analyses show positive effects of sport participation on grades, self-concept, locus of control, and educational aspirations, and a negative effect on discipline problems. Analysis also shows that athletic participation is unequally distributed across gender and socioeconomic groups: Males, students from higher socioeconomic levels, students attending private and smaller schools, and those with previous experience in school and private sport teams are more engaged in high school competitive sport.

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Luke Sage and Maria Kavussanu

In this experiment we examined the effects of task and ego involvement on three measures of moral behavior—prosocial choice, observed prosocial behavior, and observed antisocial behavior—in a competitive setting. We also investigated sex differences in moral behavior. Male (n = 48) and female (n = 48) college students were randomly assigned to a task-involving, an ego-involving, or a control condition. Participants played two 10-min games of table soccer and completed measures of prosocial choice, goal involvement, goal orientation, and demographics. The two games were recorded, and frequencies of prosocial and antisocial behavior were coded. Players assigned to the task-involving condition were higher in prosocial choice than those in the ego-involving or control conditions. Individuals in the ego-involving condition displayed more antisocial behaviors than those in the task-involving or control conditions. Finally, females displayed more prosocial behaviors than males.