This study investigated the effect of psychological pressure on spinal reflex excitability. Thirteen participants performed a balancing task by standing on a balance disk with one foot. After six practice trials, they performed one nonpressure and one pressure trial involving a performance-contingent cash reward or punishment. Stress responses were successfully induced; state anxiety, mental effort, and heart rates all increased under pressure. Soleus Hoffmann reflex amplitude in the pressure trial was significantly smaller than in the nonpressure trial. This modification of spinal reflexes may be caused by presynaptic inhibition under the control of higher central nerve excitation under pressure. This change did not prevent 12 of the 13 participants from successfully completing the postural control task under pressure. These results suggest that Hoffmann reflex inhibition would contribute to optimal postural control under stressful situations.
Benjamin James and David Collins
A qualitative investigation was conducted to identify sources of stress and the self-presentational mechanism that may underpin them during competition. Twenty athletes described factors they perceived as stressful during competition. Content analysis revealed eight general sources of stress, including significant others, competitive anxiety and doubts, perceived readiness, and the nature of the competition (e.g., importance). Two thirds (67.3%) of all stress sources appeared to heighten the athletes’ need to present themselves in a favorable way to the audience. Factors that increased perceived likelihood of poor personal performance lowered the athletes’ ability to convey a desired image to their audience. Social evaluation and self-presentation was also identified as a general source of stress in its own right. These findings suggest that (a) these athletes were sensitive about the impressions people form of them during competition, and (b) stress responses maybe triggered by factors that primarily influence the self-presentational implications of performance.
Research has demonstrated that coaches experience stress because of the nature of their job and that stress can affect their physical and mental well-being (Richman, 1992; Wang & Ramsey, 1998). The purpose of the present study was to better understand coaches’ experiences with stress, the perceived effects of stress on their coaching performance, and their coping strategies. A semistructured interview approach was used with 10 NCAA Division I male and female head coaches. The five major themes that characterized the coaches’ experiences were contextual/conditional factors, sources of stress, responses and effects of stress, managing stress, and sources of enjoyment. The results are discussed in relation to Smith’s (1986) cognitive-affective model of stress. Opportunities for future research are suggested, and implications for practitioners who want to help coaches manage the stress of their profession are offered.
Maple Liu and Brian W. Timmons
The adaptive effects of exercise-induced inflammation and reactive oxygen species production has been well studied in adults, but not in children. Characterizing the exercise responses in children compared with adults will start clarifying the transition from the child phenotype to that of an adult. Ten children aged 8–10 and 12 adults aged 19–21 performed 2 × 30-min bouts of continuous cycling, separated by a 6-min rest period, at a target work rate of 60% of their maximum aerobic capacity. Blood samples were collected pre- and immediately postexercise, and analyzed for neutrophil count, systemic oxidative and inflammatory markers, and intracellular neutrophil-derived reactive oxygen species. Although postexercise absolute neutrophils increased by approximately twofold in men (2.72 ± 0.49 × 109/L to 4.85 ± 2.05 × 109/L; p = .007), boys showed no such change (3.18 ± 0.67 × 109/L to 3.57 ± 0.73 × 109/L; p = .52). Contrary to these findings, boys did show an increase in overall intracellular neutrophil ROS production, whereas men did not. Boys also demonstrated higher overall protein carbonyl levels (0.07 nmol/mg vs 0.04 nmol/mg; boys vs men respectively), whereas men showed higher overall malondialdehyde (0.24 μM vs 0.67 μM; boys vs men respectively). The differences observed in the exercise-induced inflammatory and oxidative stress response may indicate growth-mediated adaptive responses to exercise during childhood development.
Randy J. Schmitz, David E. Martin, David H. Perrin, Ali Iranmanesh and Alan D. Rogol
The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of interferential current (IFC) on perceived pain and serum Cortisol levels in subjects with delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). DOMS was induced in 10 subjects through repeated eccentric contractions of the elbow flexors. Forty-eight hours later subjects were evaluated. Starting at t = 0:00, blood samples were withdrawn from a superficial vein every 5 min for 65 min. At t = 0:05, subjects received IFC of 10 bps or IFC of 100 bps. Perceived pain levels were evaluated prior to catheter insertion and at t = 0:35, 0:50, and 0:65. Two mixed-model analyses of variance revealed a significant decrease in perceived pain scores across time for both treatment groups but no significant difference in serum Cortisol for the two groups. It was concluded that IFC of high and low beat frequency is effective in controlling the pain of DOMS but does not elicit a generalized stress response as indexed by increasing serum Cortisol levels.
Candace M. Hogue, Mary D. Fry, Andrew C. Fry and Sarah D. Pressman
Research in achievement goal perspective theory suggests that the creation of a caring/task-involving (C/TI) climate results in more advantageous psychological and behavioral responses relative to an ego-involving (EI) climate; however, research has not yet examined the physiological consequences associated with psychological stress in relation to climate. Given the possible health and fitness implications of certain physiological stress responses, it is critical to understand this association. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine whether an EI climate procures increases in the stress-responsive hormone cortisol, as well as negative psychological changes, following the learning of a new skill, compared with a C/TI climate. Participants (n = 107) were randomized to a C/TI or an EI climate in which they learned how to juggle for 30 min over the course of 2 hr. Seven salivary cortisol samples were collected during this period. Results indicated that EI participants experienced greater cortisol responses after the juggling session and significantly greater anxiety, stress, shame, and self-consciousness relative to C/TI participants. In contrast, the C/TI participants reported greater enjoyment, effort, self-confidence, and interest and excitement regarding future juggling than the EI participants. These findings indicate that motivational climates may have a significant impact on both the physiological and psychological responses of participants.
Tara K. Scanlan and Rebecca Lewthwaite
This field study investigated the influence and stability of individual difference and situational factors on the competitive stress experienced by 9- to 14-year-old wrestlers. Stress was assessed by the children's form of the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory and was measured immediately before and after each of two consecutive tournament matches. Wrestlers' dispositions, characteristic precompetition cognitions, perceptions of significant adult influences, psychological states, self-perceptions, and competitive outcomes were examined as predictors of pre- and postmatch anxiety in separate multiple regression analyses for each tournament round. The most influential and stable predictors of prematch stress for both matches were competitive trait anxiety and personal performance expectancies, while win-loss and fun experienced during the match predicted postmatch stress for both rounds. In addition, prematch worries about failure and perceived parental pressure to participate were predictive of round 1 prematch stress. Round 1 postmatch stress levels predicted stress after round 2, suggesting some consistency in children's stress responses. In total, 61 and 35% of prematch and 41 and 32% of postmatch state anxiety variance was explained for rounds 1 and 2, respectively.
Kim Gammage, Rachel Arnold, Nicole Bolter, Lori Dithurbide, Karl Erickson, Blair Evans, Larkin Lamarche, Sean Locke, Eric Martin and Kathleen Wilson
proof-of-concept study. Translational Behavioral Medicine, 7 , 138–147. doi: 10.1007/s13142-016-0449-x Journal website: https://link.springer.com/journal/13142 Author website: https://publichealth.arizona.edu/directory/uma-nair Stress Is Good: A Model for Improving Stress Responses There is a
Aynollah Naderi, Fatemeh Shaabani, Hassan Gharayagh Zandi, Luís Calmeiro and Britton W. Brewer
) proposed the model of stress and athletic injury. According to this model, a potentially stressful situation (e.g., an important competition) may lead to a stress response, which varies in intensity depending on how the athlete evaluates the situation. This evaluation is known as cognitive appraisal. The
Kim Gammage, Rachel Arnold, Lori Dithurbide, Alison Ede, Karl Erickson, Blair Evans, Larkin Lamarche, Sean Locke, Eric Martin and Kathleen Wilson
/Society and Leisure, 42, 24–42. doi: 10.1080/07053436.2019.1582903 Journal website: https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rles20/current Author website: http://kine.info.yorku.ca/health-profiles/index.php?dept=&mid=499198 Walking Away the Stress (Response) The cross-stressor adaptation hypothesis suggests that