A path analysis of stress appraisals, emotions, coping, and performance satisfaction among athletes

A R Nicholls, R C J Polman, Andy R Levy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

149 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives In this study we examined athletes’ stress appraisals, emotions, coping, and performance satisfaction ratings using a path analysis model. This is the first study to explore all of these constructs in a single study and provides a more holistic examination of the overall stressful experience that athletes encounter. Design Cross-sectional. Methods Participants were 557 athletes, aged between 18 and 64 years (M age = 22.28 years, SD = 5.72), who completed a pre-competition measure of stress appraisals and emotions. Participants also completed a coping questionnaire and a subjective performance measure after competing, with regards to how they coped during competition and how satisfied they were with their performance. Results Path analysis revealed that appraisals of uncontrollable-by-self, stressfulness, and centrality were positively associated with the relational meaning threat appraisals. Threat appraisals were associated with unpleasant emotions, prior to competition, and pre-ceded distraction- and disengagement-oriented coping. The pre-competition appraisals of controllable-by-self, centrality, controllable-by-others, and stressfulness were associated with challenge relational meanings, which in turn were linked to task-oriented coping during competition. Task-oriented coping was positively related to superior subjective performance. Conclusions Our findings support the notion that stress appraisals, emotions, and coping are highly related constructs that are also associated with performance satisfaction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-270
JournalPsychology of Sport and Exercise
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012


Dive into the research topics of 'A path analysis of stress appraisals, emotions, coping, and performance satisfaction among athletes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this