An explanation for the fallacy of facilitative anxiety: Stress, emotions, coping, andsubjective performance in sport

Dam R. Nicholls*, Remco C.J. Polman, Andrew R. Levy, Johan Hulleman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this paper we explored the relationship between perceived stress, emotions, coping, and subjective performance. Participants were 636 athletes, who completed pre-competitive measures of stress and emotions. The participants also completed a measure of coping and subjective performance after their competitive event. Perceived stress significantly and positively correlated with the negatively toned emotions anger, anxiety, and dejection, hut negatively correlated with one of the positively toned emotions, happiness. The positively toned emotions happiness and excitement correlated positively with subjective performance. The strategies mental imagery and effort expenditure were positively related to subjective performance, whereas disengagement/ resignation were negatively related to performance. Anxiety correlated with excitement, and excitement correlated with subjective performance. This finding would imply that it is the presence of excitement, which may have contributed to the notion that anxiety can be reported as being facilitative to performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-293
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Sport Psychology
Volume43
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2012

Keywords

  • Coping strategies
  • Debilitative anxiety
  • Facilitative anxiety

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