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Daniel Gould, Susan Jackson, and Laura Finch

This investigation examined stress and sources of stress experienced by U.S. national champion figure skaters. Seventeen national champions, who held their titles between 1985 and 1990, were interviewed about the stress they experienced as national champions and were asked to identify specific sources of stress. Qualitative methodology was used to inductively analyze the interview transcripts and revealed that 71% of the skaters experienced more stress after winning their title than before doing so. Stress source dimensions were also identified and included: relationship issues, expectations and pressure to perform, psychological demands on skater resources, physical demands on skater resources, environmental demands on skater resources, life direction concerns, and a number of individual specific uncategorizable sources. In general, these findings parallel the previous elite figure skaters stress source research of Scanlan, Stein, and Ravizza (1991), although there were several points of divergence relative to the type of stressors experienced by this sample of national champion athletes.

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Timothy M. Dasinger and Melinda A. Solmon

,536 words), the authors observed four common sources of anxiety: fragile self-beliefs, social interaction and the threat of negative social evaluation, anxiety from competition, and a lack of knowledge or unfamiliarity with surroundings. A summary of the number of cases by gender and source of anxiety is

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Daniel Gould, Thelma Horn, and Janie Spreemann

This investigation was designed to assess perceived sources of stress in junior elite wrestlers. Wrestlers (N = 458) participating in the United States Wrestling Federation Junior National Championships rated the frequency with which they typically experienced 33 sources of stress before competitions. Descriptive statistics revealed that performing up to one's ability, improving on one's last performance, participating in championship meets, not wrestling well, and losing were identified as major sources of stress. Factor analytic results showed that the 33 sources of stress loaded on three factors, including: fear of failure-feelings of inadequacy, external control-guilt, and social evaluation. Multiple regression analyses revealed that both wrestler trait anxiety and years of wrestling experience were significant predictors of the fear of failure-feelings of inadequacy factor, while trait anxiety also was found to be a significant predictor of the social evaluation factor. Although both the most and least frequently experienced sources of stress were identified in this investigation, it was concluded that large individual differences existed in perceived sources of stress. In addition, the need for replicating and extending these findings with other samples was emphasized.

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Klaus Heinemann

This paper involves an investigation of the extent to which the leisure-time activities of individuals are tied to work and occupation. Primary attention is focused on how unemployment affects involvement in sport. An analysis of data collected in a 6-month study of 2,500 West German women leads to the conclusion that sports involvement is embedded in a social evaluation of work and leisure time. Sport involvement presupposes a specific personal and social identity, and is linked with a feeling of self-confidence to a specific body concept and time consciousness. What our ideas clarify is that the variability of personality disposition is shaped by situational factors; occupation and work, among other factors, are stabilizing influences. This stability can deteriorate among the unemployed if it is not secured by alternative roles. When stability deteriorates, sport involvement tends to decline.

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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.

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Jane McKay, Ailsa G. Niven, David Lavallee, and Alison White

Following the theoretical framework of Lazarus and Folkman (1984), recently adapted to sport (Fletcher, Hanton, & Mellalieu, 2006), 12 elite UK track athletes (M age = 22.7; SD = 2.4 years) participated in semistructured interviews to identify sources of strain. Inductive content analysis identified 11 general dimensions of sources of strain from 664 meaning units, which were subsequently categorized into competitive, organizational, and personal domains. Several sources of strain (e.g., competitive concerns, pressure to perform) were consistent with previous research supporting the suggestion that a core group of stressors may be evident across sports although several sources of strain appeared to be more pertinent to track athletes (e.g., social evaluation and self-presentation concerns) highlighting the need to consider group differences.

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Anne M. Haase

As female athletes participating in physique-salient sports report similar levels of social physique anxiety (SPA) and disordered eating symptoms compared with those in nonphysique salient sports, alternative factors contributing to disordered eating require consideration, specifically participation in sport type (team vs. individual). This study examined SPA and disordered eating correlates in female athletes (N= 137) in two sport types (team sports and individual sports). Individual sport athletes exhibited higher SPA, F(1, 135) = 22.03, p< .001; dieting, Brown and Forsythe’s F(1, 57.05) = 43.79, p< .001; and bulimic behavior, Brown and Forsythe’s F(1, 59.92) = 13.45, p= .001 than team sport athletes. SPA and sport type together predicted 44% of dieting and 22% of bulimic symptom variance, suggesting that individual-sport athletes with higher SPA experienced greater disordered eating. Involvement in individual sports where physique is more open to social evaluation may contribute to dieting and bulimic symptoms among female athletes.

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John G.H. Dunn

Many competitive sport anxiety researchers have examined the degree to which athletes worry before or during competition. Little attention has been paid, however, to establishing a conceptual framework for structuring the content of competitive worry. The main purpose of this study was to examine the latent dimensionality of competitive worry in intercollegiate ice hockey (N= 178) using a conceptual framework based on two multidimensional anxiety theories developed by Endler (1983) and Hackfort (1986). Multidimensional scaling and factor-analytic results revealed that competitive worry in ice hockey can be structured around a combination of four potential content domains relating to athletes’ fear of failure, negative social evaluation, injury or physical danger, and the unknown. These constructs were congruent with the situational anxiety dimensions proposed by Endler and Hackfort. Discussion focuses on the characteristic features of the four worry domains and the extent to which athletes were predisposed to experiencing each type of worry.

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Heather A. Hausenblas and Kathleen A. Martin

Social physique anxiety (SPA) is a subtype of social anxiety that stems from self-presentational concerns about the appearance of one’s physique. The purpose of the present study was to examine correlates of SPA among individuals who instruct in a high social evaluation setting. Data from 286 female aerobic instructors (M age = 34.11) were collected on SPA, age, body mass index (BMI), exposure to the exercise setting (number of years spent instructing and participating in aerobic classes), and motive for instructing (leadership, affect enhancement, self-presentational). Hierarchical multiple regression analyses revealed that BMI, age, and motive for instructing accounted for 25% of the variance in SPAS scores, F(6, 223) = 12.11, p < .0001. Women who instructed for self-presentational motives had significantly higher SPA compared to women who instructed for leadership and affect enhancement motives. Contrary to hypothesis, the amount of exposure to the aerobic exercise setting was unrelated to SPA. Based on this result, we suggest that repeated exposure to a physique salient environment does not diminish women’s self-presentational concerns about their bodies.

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Pia-Maria Wippert and Jens Wippert

As career termination is an incisive event in life, it is therefore important to understand the effects of different types of retirement on an athlete’s biography. Thus, the present longitudinal study is concerned with the effects of career termination of professional national team-athletes on the development of psychopathological symptoms, locus of control, self-concept, and mood, with special consideration of the mediator variable “subjective control of event-onset.” Data were collected from 42 professional athletes (17 of whom experienced an unexpected dismissal and 4 voluntarily retired) using standardized questionnaires (SCL-90-R, ASTS, FKK) 10 days before event entrance (baseline-test), 10 days after, 3 weeks after, and 5.5 months after onset of career termination. Although the baseline data did not reveal personality differences between the groups, dismissed athletes showed significantly stronger psychological distress after event onset. They displayed a stronger initial reaction, a more severe crisis, and longer transition periods than the control group. Results are discussed in connection with the combination of social evaluative threat and forced failure during event onset and their strong effects on distress after career termination.