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Robert T. Clifton and Diane L. Gill

The present study answered Lirgg's (1991) call for confidence studies employing a feminine-typed task by assessing self-confidence and gender appropriateness in college cheerleading. Questionnaires assessing self-confidence and the gender appropriateness of cheerleading and its five subtasks (cheers and motions, partner stunts, jumps, tumbling, and cheerleading dance) were administered to college cheerleaders and to noncheerleader college undergraduates. It was hypothesized that females would possess more self-confidence in their ability at cheerleading and its various subtasks than would males, and that cheerleaders would rate their sport as less gender-stereotyped than would noncheerleaders. MANOVA results supported these hypotheses. On only two subtasks, partner stunts and tumbling, males possessed as much confidence as females did. Females reported more self-confidence on cheerleading and all other subtasks. Furthermore, cheerleaders of both sexes were aware of the stereotypes held by others, but viewed cheerleading and the tasks within it as more gender neutral than did noncheerleaders.

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Stuart Beattie, Lew Hardy and Tim Woodman

Higgins’ (1987) self-discrepancy theory holds that certain emotions occur as a result of discrepancies between pairs of psychological entities called self-guides. The present study explored self-discrepancies in self-confidence in relation to performance and cognitive anxiety. Slalom canoeists (n = 81) reported ideal, ought, and feared levels of self-confidence 3 hours before a national ranking slalom tournament. Within a half-hour of the start of the race, canoeists reported their actual self-confidence and cognitive anxiety levels. Hierarchical multiple-regression analyses revealed that self-discrepancies predicted significantly more performance variance than actual self-confidence alone. Additionally, hierarchical multiple-regression analyses revealed that, contrary to the specific predictions of self-discrepancy theory, ideal and feared discrepancies (not “ought” and “feared” discrepancies) significantly predicted cognitive anxiety. Additional findings, implications, and directions for further research into the nature of the self in sport are discussed.

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Steven J. Petruzzello and Charles B. Corbin

Research has suggested that females lack self-confidence in their abilities to perform in certain physical activity situations. This "situational vulnerability," however, is not characteristic of all age levels. The present research was designed to determine if situational vulnerability was characteristic of college-age females and to determine if postperformance feedback would enhance self-confidence. Further, the research was designed to determine if feedback-enhanced self-confidence would generalize to a different task. In Study 1, males and females (N=381) rated the gender appropriateness of several motor tasks and made confidence ratings. In Study 2, high and low confidence college-age women (N=69) were tested to determine if feedback increased confidence on a gender-neutral task.. Subjects were then tested for confidence after performing a different task to determine if feedback-produced confidence differences were enduring. The results indicated that both tasks were rated as gender-neutral, but college-age females lacked confidence when compared to males. Feedback did improve confidence for low confidence females, but this feedback-enhanced self-confidence did not generalize to a different motor task. It is suggested that a fourth factor, namely lack of experience, be added to Lenney's (1977) situational vulnerability hypothesis as a factor likely to affect female self-confidence.

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Laura J. Kenow and Jean M. Williams

Two experiments examined Smoll and Smith’s (1989) model of leadership behaviors in sport. The coaching behaviors of a male head coach of a collegiate women’s basketball team (n=11 players) were examined. The data supported competitive trait anxiety as an individual-difference variable that mediates athletes’ perception and evaluation of coaching behaviors. There also was support for adding athletes’ state cognitive anxiety, state self-confidence, and perception of the coach’s cognitive anxiety to the model as individual-difference variables. Athletes who scored high in trait anxiety (p<.001) and state cognitive anxiety (p<.05) and low in state self-confidence (p<.05), and athletes who perceived the coach as high in state cognitive anxiety (p<.001), evaluated coaching behavior more negatively. Game outcome may influence the effect of self-confidence in mediating athletes’ perception and evaluation of coaching behaviors. Additionally, athletes perceived several specific coaching behaviors more negatively than did the coach, and athletes drastically overestimated their coach’s self-reported pregame cognitive and somatic anxiety and underestimated his self-confidence. Overall, the results suggest that coaches should be more supportive and less negative with high anxious and low self-confident athletes.

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Elizabeth Campbell and Graham Jones

This study examined the precompetition temporal patterning of anxiety and self-confidence in wheelchair sport participants. The subjects comprised of 103 male (n = 87) and female (n = 16) wheelchair sport participants who participated at national level or above in a variety of sports. All the subjects completed a modified version of the Competitive Trait Anxiety Inventory-2 (CTAI-2) which measured three dimensions of their normal competitive anxiety response (intensity, frequency, and direction), at three time periods preceding competition (1 week, 2 hours, and 30 minutes before). The findings suggest that wheelchair sport participants show a similar precompetition anxiety response to nondisabled sport participants. However, there appears to be some differences, particularly in the intensity of somatic anxiety symptoms experienced and the reduction in self-confidence just prior to competition. The findings also provide further support for the distinction between intensity, frequency, and direction of competitive anxiety symptoms.

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Nicholas Stanger, Ryan Chettle, Jessica Whittle and Jamie Poolton

), research has yet to investigate potential amenable moderators of the emotion–cognitive interference relationship. Appraisal of the literature reveals two primary candidates: self-confidence and emotion regulation (e.g., Eysenck & Calvo, 1992 ; Hanton, Mellalieu, & Hall, 2004 ; Uphill, Lane, & Jones

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Lew Hardy, Tim Woodman and Stephen Carrington

This paper examines Hardy’s (1990, 1996a) proposition that self-confidence might act as the bias factor in a butterfly catastrophe model of stress and performance. Male golfers (N = 8) participated in a golf tournament and reported their cognitive anxiety, somatic anxiety, and self-confidence prior to their tee shot on each hole. All anxiety, self-confidence, and performance scores were standardized within participants in order to control for individual differences. The data were then collapsed across participants and categorized into a high self-confidence condition and a low self-confidence condition by means of a median split. A series of two-way (Cognitive Anxiety × Somatic Anxiety) ANOVAs was conducted on each self-confidence condition in order to fag where the maximum Cognitive Anxiety × Somatic Anxiety interaction effect size lay along the somatic anxiety axis. These ANOVAs revealed that the maximum interaction effect size between cognitive and somatic anxiety was at a higher level of somatic anxiety for the high self-confidence condition than for the low self-confidence condition, thus supporting the moderating role of self-confidence in a catastrophe model framework.

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Graham Jones, Austin Swain and Andrew Cale

This study examined changes in, and antecedents of, cognitive anxiety» somatic anxiety» and self-confidence in a sample of male (w=28) and female (»=28) university athletes. Subjects responded to the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 (Martens, Burton, Vealey, Bump, & Smith, 1990) and six antecedent items during the week preceding an important competition. In the case of cognitive anxiety, males showed no change across time; females showed a progressive increase as the competition neared. Males and females showed the same patterning in somatic anxiety with increases occurring only on the day of competition. Self-confidence scores revealed a reduction in self-confidence as the competition neared in both genders, but there was a greater decrease in females than in males. Stepwise multiple regression analyses showed that different antecedents predicted cognitive anxiety and self-confidence in males and females. Specifically, significant predictors in the females were associated with personal goals and standards; significant predictors in the males were associated with interpersonal comparison and winning.

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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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J. Graham Jones, Austin Swain and Andrew Cale

This study examined situational antecedents of multidimensional competitive state anxiety and self-confidence in a sample of 125 elite intercollegiate middle-distance runners. Cognitive anxiety, somatic anxiety, and self-confidence were measured 1 hour prior to performance via the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory–2. Subjects also completed the 19-item Pre-Race Questionnaire (PRQ) which was designed to examine situational antecedents of the competitive state anxiety components. Factor analysis of the PRQ revealed five factors: perceived readiness, attitude toward previous performance, position goal, coach influence, and external environment. Stepwise multiple regression analyses demonstrated that cognitive anxiety was predicted by the first three of these factors. However, none of the factors were found to significantly predict somatic anxiety. Self-confidence was also predicted by two factors, perceived readiness and external environment. These findings suggest that cognitive anxiety and self-confidence share some common antecedents but that there are also factors unique to each.