Responses to the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2(d) by athletes in anxious and excited scenarios

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Objectives:Given recent concerns regarding its validity the aim of the present study was to examine the capability of the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2(d) (CSAI-2(d)) in distinguishing between anxious and excited states.Design and Methods:British university athletes (n=188) were randomly assigned to one of two groups and asked to complete the CSAI-2(d) as if they were either excited (excited group) or anxious (anxious group) prior to the most important competition of the season.Results:Participants (n=18) who indicated that they were unable to complete the task with any degree of accuracy were removed from the analysis. Data were initially analysed using Multivariate Analyses of Covariance, with gender as the covariate. Participants in the anxious group reported higher scores on the cognitive and somatic anxiety intensity subscales, while the participants in the excited group reported a more facilitative perception of their symptoms on the somatic anxiety subscale. A logistic regression correctly classified 62.9% of the participants as belonging to either the anxious or excited group on the basis of the scores from the CSAI-2(d).Conclusions:It is possible to observe differences in scores on the CSAI-2(d) from participants asked to complete the inventory as if they were either excited or anxious. However, differences in scores were typically small with 37.1% of participants incorrectly classified on the basis of these scores. Accordingly, caution is advised in interpreting the results of the CSAI-2(d) in research and applied settings.

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