Pre And Poscompetitive Anxiety And Self-confidence In Disability Sport Athletes

Por: J. P. Ferreira, M. J. Campos e N. Giatras.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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Top level disability sport has become increasingly organized and competitive, and achieved the potential to create
anxiety in many disability sport participants (Campbell & Jones, 1997). However not many research has been
developed in athletes with disability coping with highly stressful sporting situations (Campbell & Jones, 1997, 2002a,
2002b). The CSAI-2 (Martens, Vealey & Burton, 1990) is used as a measurement of anxiety intensity, assessing the
level of cognitive anxiety, the perceived physical symptoms and the perceived level of self-confidence. The aim of the
present study is to look at the competitive anxiety and self-confidence responses of disability sport athletes before and
after competition.

Participants were Portuguese disability sport athletes (N= 42), 33 males (26.15 ± 7.24 yrs) and 9 females (26.00 ± 8.02
yrs) with physical as well as with visual impairment. All participants were competing at national level or above in four
different sports: swimming (15), wheelchair marathon (6), track and field athletics (13) and football (8). CSAI-2 was
administered by the same research assistant using standardized instructions, during the last five minutes of each training
session, before warm-up and after shower.

Descriptive values for sub-scale responses were analysed by gender, lesion source, and competitive level. Separate
repeated measures of one and two-way multivariate analyses of variance (MANOVA) were used on each of the three
subscales to analyse whether there were any significant changes across time points (1 week, 2 hrs, 20 min and 1 hr
after). Differences between means were analysed by follow-up Bonferroni test.
The MANOVA for intensity of competitive anxiety responses was significant, Wilks´lambda =.72 F(4.24)=258.13 and
p≤0.001. Differences were found for somatic and self-confidence subscales. Bonferroni test on somatic anxiety intensity
means showed an increase from 1 week to 20 min. (p≤0.01), from 2 hrs. to 20 min. (p≤0.01), from 2 hrs. to 1 hr. after
(p≤0.01) and from 20 min. to 1 hr. after (p≤0.000). Bonferroni test also revealed self-confidence to increase from 2 hrs.
to 1 hr. after competition (p≤0.01) and from 20 min. to 1 hr. after competition (p≤0.01) but no changes were found in
any other time points. Multivariate tests revealed, due to the small sample size, marginal effects between competitive
anxiety and lesion source, over time. Wilks´lambda =.88 F(1.78)=287.33, p=0.71. Bonferroni test on the somatic
anxiety marginal means indicated an increase in all pre-competitive time points, from 1 week to 2 hrs. (p≤0.05), from 1
week to 20 min. (p≤0.000), and from 2 hrs. to 20 min. (p≤0.01), as well as a clear decrease after competition from 1
week to 1 hr. after (p≤0.05), and from 2 hrs. and 20 min. to 1 hr. after (p≤0.01).

Discussion/ Conclusions
Findings support the hypothesis that cognitive anxiety intensity would remain stable over the three pre-competition time
periods and decrease after competition, and that somatic anxiety intensity increases as the competition approaches, and
drastically decreases after competition. The results for self-confidence did not support the Multidimensional Anxiety
Theory. Self-confidence should have remained stable during pre-competition unless expectations of success are
changing. However these results are not unexpected, a previous similar patterning was found in female athletes without
disability (Jones & Cale, 1989; Jones et al., 1991). This might be due to the different sport socialization experiences that
in disability athletes may not be so competitive oriented as it is the case of non-disability male athletes.

[1]. Campbell, E., & Jones, G. (1997). APAQ, 14: 95-107.
[2]. Campbell, E., & Jones, G. (2002a). APAQ, 19: 82-99.
[3]. Campbell, E., & Jones, G. (2002b). APAQ, 19: 100-108.
[4]. Jones, G., & Cale, A. (1989). Jour. of Sport Sciences, 7: 129-140.
[5]. Jones, G., Swain, A.B.J., & Cale, A. (1991). JSEP, 13: 1-15.
[6]. Martens, R., Vealey, R.S., & Burton, D. (1990). Competitive anxiety in sport. Human Kinetics, Champaign: Illinois.

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