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Effects of Trait and Situational Self-Handicapping on Competitive Anxiety among Athletes


Ryska, TA and Yin, Z and Cooley, PD, Effects of Trait and Situational Self-Handicapping on Competitive Anxiety among Athletes, Current Psychology, 17, (1) pp. 48-56. ISSN 0737-8262 (1998) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1007/s12144-998-1020-9


Initial evidence suggests that the employment of self-handicapping strategies has a beneficial effect on negative affective states associated with the perceived threat of evaluative contexts (Harris & Snyder, 1986; Leary, 1986). The present study sought to describe the type of self-handicapping behaviors demonstrated by youth athletes (N=238) as well as to assess the stress-buffering role of athlete self-handicapping on indices of competitive state anxiety. Specifically, it was hypothesized that among high trait-handicapping athletes, those who report a greater degree of performance-debilitating obstacles prior to competition would demonstrate lowered cognitive and somatic state anxiety as well as greater state self-confidence than nonhandicapping athletes. However, MANOVA results indicated that both high trait and situational self-handicappers demonstrate elevated state anxiety immediately prior to competition. Results are discussed in relation to the possible role of state anxiety as a salient self-handicapping strategy within competitive sport.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Research Group:Strategy, management and organisational behaviour
Research Field:Innovation management
Objective Division:Economic Framework
Objective Group:Management and productivity
Objective Field:Management
UTAS Author:Cooley, PD (Associate Professor Dean Cooley)
ID Code:15448
Year Published:1998
Web of Science® Times Cited:18
Deposited By:Secondary and Post-Compulsory Education
Deposited On:1998-08-01
Last Modified:2011-08-10

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