COPING STYLES FOR TRAIT SHAME AND ANXIETY INTENSITY AND DIRECTION IN COMPETITIVE ATHLETES1

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Abstract

The purpose of the study was to assess if athletes who perceived their anxiety as debilitative to performance also scored higher on ratings of coping styles used to handle trait shame. The sample was comprised of 94 participants (males = 44, females = 50) ranging in age from 15 to 24 years (M= 18.8, SD = 2.3). Athletes in high school (n = 21) and college (n = 73) representing several sports were surveyed for this study. Competitive sport experience averaged 11 yr. (SD = 3.9) overall. The Competitive Trait Anxiety Inventory-2D was given to collect general anxiety perceptions related to the athlete's specific sport. The Compass of Shame Scale-Sport was administered to measure coping styles for trait shame responses connected with competitive sport experiences. The athletes were divided into Facilitative (n = 39) and Debilitative anxiety groups (n=55) based on the overall direction of anxiety scores. Multivariate analysis of variance indicated no interaction, but did reveal significant main effects for sex and anxiety group. Univariate tests indicated significant differences for several of the shame and anxiety subscales based on sex and anxiety group.

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