Stressors, coping, and coping effectiveness: Gender, sport type and level of ability differences

A.R. Nicholls, R.C.J. Polman, Andy Levy, J. Taylor, S. Cobley

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

111 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to examine stressors, coping, and coping effectiveness as a function of gender, type of sport, and skill. The sample consisted of 749 undergraduate athletes (455 males, 294 females) aged 18 – 38 years (mean = 19.8 years). Skill was classified as international/national, county, university, and club standard. Participants completed a stressor and coping concept map (Novak & Gowin, 1984). The results revealed gender, type of sport, and skill differences in relation to stressor frequencies, coping strategy deployment, and coping effectiveness. In contrast to previous research, females used a variety of problem-focused (e.g. planning, communication, technique-orientated coping) strategies more frequently than males. Team sport athletes reported a variety of sport-specific stressors relating to the demands of playing in a team environment. The group of national/international athletes reported using more planning, blocking, and visualization, and also reported that their coping was more effective than that of less-skilled athletes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1521-1530
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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