The purpose of the present study was to examine how coping strategies in sport relate to differences in levels of anxiety intensity and to the interpretation of these levels as being facilitative or debilitative to performance. British university athletes were asked to recall a recent stressful situation in their sport, the coping strategies they used, and the intensity and direction of their anxiety symptoms. Results showed that perceptions of facilitative cognitive anxiety were related to the use of problem-focused coping. High levels of cognitive anxiety intensity were related to emotion-focused coping and avoidance coping. With regard to somatic anxiety, there was a significant interaction between the intensity and direction dimensions in that similar high levels of anxiety intensity were related to different coping strategies, depending on whether somatic anxiety was perceived to be facilitative or debilitative. From a practical point of view, the results show that athletes with positive perceptions of their anxiety level are able to use effective coping strategies. Lastly, suggestions are offered for further exploration of the nature of the interrelationship between coping strategies and anxiety.
Nikos Ntoumanis and Stuart J.H. Biddle
Anne Marte Pensgaard and Joan L. Duda
Drawing upon the Cognitive-Motivational-Relational Theory of Emotion (Lazarus, 1991, 1999, 2000) and Hanin’s (1993, 2000) conceptualization of emotions, the purpose of this study was threefold. First, the reported content, frequency, and intensity of emotions experienced by 61 athletes in relation to a stressful event when competing in the 2000 Olympic Games were determined. Second, the relationships between emotional responses and reported coping strategies and perceived coping effectiveness were examined. Finally, the degree to which emotions and perceived coping effectiveness predicted subjective and objective performance during the Olympics was ascertained. In general, the athletes experienced a high frequency of optimizing emotions. Optimizing emotions were related to coping effectiveness, which emerged as a positive predictor of objective competitive results. Coping effectiveness also positively predicted subjective performance while reported dysfunctional emotions emerged as a negative predictor.
Peter R. Giacobbi Jr., Taryn K. Lynn, Jaclyn M. Wetherington, Jamie Jenkins, Melissa Bodendorf and Brad Langley
The present study explored the sources of stress and coping strategies of five female first-year university swimmers. The results of group and individual interviews revealed the major sources of stress experienced by our participants were training intensity, high performance expectations, interpersonal relationships, being away from home, and academics. The participants utilized social support, emotional release, and humor/fun as their primary coping responses during the early part of their first year. As the year progressed, cognitive coping responses such as positive reinterpretation and task focus emerged. In addition, important people in the athletic context influenced the participants’ interpretation of stress. The results shed light on the dynamic nature of the coping process and offered support for the transactional model of stress and coping (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984).
Peter R. Giacobbi Jr. and Robert S. Weinberg
The purposes of the present investigation were to examine the coping responses of different subgroups of athletes (e.g., high and low trait anxious athletes), and to assess the consistency of athlete’s coping behaviors across situations. Two-hundred and seventy-three athletes completed the Sport Anxiety Scale (SAS) by Smith, Smoll, & Schutz (1990) and coping assessments in trait and state versions of the sport adapted COPE (MCOPE) by Crocker and Graham (1995). The state coping measures assessed coping responses of situations for which the athletes actually experienced. The results of three separate, doubly multivariate, repeated measures, MANOVA’s showed that high trait anxious athletes responded to stressful situations using different coping behaviors (e.g., denial, wishful thinking, and self-blame) than the low trait anxious athletes. In addition, coping appears to be more stable than situationally variable as Pearson correlational coefficients computed between the three measures ranged from 0.53 to 0.80. The results are discussed with regard to theoretical, research, and applied issues.
Amber D. Mosewich, Peter R.E. Crocker, Kent C. Kowalski and Anita DeLongis
This study investigated the effects of a self-compassion intervention on negative cognitive states and selfcompassion in varsity women athletes. Athletes who self-identified as being self-critical were randomly assigned to a self-compassion intervention (n = 29) or attention control group (n = 22). The self-compassion intervention consisted of a psychoeducation session and writing components completed over a 7-day period. Measures of self-compassion, state self-criticism, state rumination, and concern over mistakes were collected pretreatment, at 1 week posttreatment, and at a 4-week follow-up. A mixed factorial MANOVA with follow-up post hoc tests demonstrated moderate-to-strong effects for the intervention at posttest and follow-up (Wilks’s Λ = .566, F (8, 42) = 4.03, p < .01, η2 = .43). The findings demonstrate the effectiveness of the self-compassion intervention in managing self-criticism, rumination, and concern over mistakes. Fostering a self-compassionate frame of mind is a potential coping resource for women athletes dealing with negative events in sport.
Sarah J. Hanson, Penny McCullagh and Phyllis Tonymon
In 1988, Andersen and Williams proposed a model to explain the stress-injury relationship. The present study tested portions of this framework by investigating frequency and severity of injury occurrence in track and field athletes from four NCAA Division I and II universities. Personality characteristics (locus of control and sport competition trait anxiety), history of stressors (life stress, daily hassles, and past injury), and moderating variables (coping resources and social support) were assessed before the season began. Discriminant analyses indicated that four variables (coping resources, negative life stress, social support, and competitive anxiety) differentiated the severity groups. For injury frequency, coping resources and positive life stress differentiated the groups.
Kent C. Kowalski and Peter R.E. Crocker
Two studies reported the development and validation of the Coping Function Questionnaire (CFQ) for adolescent sport participants. The purpose of the first study was to develop the CFQ and conduct preliminary item and scale analyses. The result was an 18-item CFQ, which assessed problem-focused, emotion-focused, and avoidance coping function. In the second study, confirmatory factor analysis with data from 344 male and 339 female adolescent sport participants showed the CFQ measurement model to be acceptable for both genders. Simultaneous group analysis demonstrated gender invariance for the CFQ measurement model. Convergent and divergent validity was supported by correlations between the CFQ and select coping scales from the COPE, the sport-modified COPE, and Life Situations Inventory. The CFQ appears to be a promising step toward measurement of coping function in adolescent sport samples.
Nicholas L. Holt and John M. Hogg
The ability to cope with competitive stress is an integral part of elite sport performance. The purposes of this investigation were to identify and examine players’ perceptions of sources of stress and coping strategies prior to the 1999 soccer world cup finals. Using a case study approach (Stake, 2000), members of a women’s national soccer team (n = 10) participated in this investigation. Through the process of inductive data analysis, main sources of stress were categorized into the following four main themes: coaches, demands of international soccer, competitive stressors, and distractions. Participants used several types of strategies based on a range of problem-focused, emotion-focused, appraisal-reappraisal, and avoidance coping styles to deal with these stressors. The main coping themes identified were reappraisal, use of social resources, performance behaviors, and blocking. Athletes implemented different coping strategies depending on the stressors they encountered. The widest range of coping responses were displayed in coping with the communication styles used by the coaches. Implications of these findings for researchers, athletes, coaches, and sport psychologists are discussed.
Brian V. Gallagher and Frank L. Gardner
The present study examined the relationship between cognitive vulnerabilities, coping strategy, and emotional response to athletic injury among 40 NCAA Division I injured athletes. It was hypothesized that the presence of early maladaptive schemas (EMS) and avoidant coping strategies would predict greater emotional distress among injured athletes. Early maladaptive schemas were assessed by the Young Schema Questionnaire-Short Form, which injured athletes completed upon injury. Coping strategies were measured by the Coping Response Inventory Adult Form, which was completed upon the completion of recovery. The Profile of Mood States was used to assess mood, and was completed during three phases of injury: upon injury, middle of rehabilitation, and upon recovery. As predicted, hierarchical multiple regression analysis demonstrate that EMSs and avoidance-focused coping were associated with higher levels of negative mood among injured athletes. The results also indicate that the relationship between EMS and mood vary based on the phase of injury, suggesting that different EMSs are differentially related to subtle differences in stressors encountered during each phase of the injury process.
Tracey Covassin, Bryan Crutcher, R.J. Elbin, Scott Burkhart and Anthony Kontos
The present study explored the relationship of neurocognitive performance and symptoms to coping responses at 3 and 8 days postconcussion. A total of 104 concussed athletes (M = 16.41, SD = 2.19 years) completed the Immediate Post Concussion Assessment Cognitive Testing (ImPACT) at baseline and the ImPACT and Brief Cope inventory at 3 and 8 days postconcussion. Concussed athletes reported more frequent use of selfdistraction, behavioral disengagement, religion, and self-blame 3 days postconcussion compared with 8 days. Concussed athletes reported more use of avoidance coping at 3 days than 8 days (Wilks’s Lambda =.95, F [1, 100] =4.71, p = .032, η2=.046) post-injury. Total symptoms were also a significant (p = .001) predictor of avoidance coping 3 days postconcussion and decreased visual memory was associated with increased avoidance coping (p = .03) 8 days post-injury. Time since injury likely impacts neurocognitive performance, symptomology, and coping. Clinicians should be aware of higher reported symptoms early and lingering visual memory deficits 1-week post-injury.