The age-appropriate Sport Anxiety Scale-2 (SAS-2; Smith, Smoll, Cumming, Grossbard, 2006) was used to assess levels of cognitive and somatic anxiety among male and female youth sport participants. Confirmatory factor analyses with a sample of 9-14 year old athletes (N=1038) supported the viability of a three-factor model of anxiety involving somatic anxiety, worry, and concentration disruption previously demonstrated in high school and college samples. Tests for factorial invariance revealed that the three-factor model was an equally good fit for 9-11 year olds and 12-14 year olds, and for both males and females. Gender and age were modestly related to anxiety scores. Worry about performing poorly was highest in girls and in older athletes, whereas boys reported higher levels of concentration disruption in competitive sport situations. Implications for emotional perception and for the study of competitive anxiety in young athletes are discussed.
- emotional development
- competitive anxiety
- youth sports
Grossbard, J. R., Smith, R. E., Smoll, F. L., & Cumming, S. P. (2009). Competitive anxiety in young athletes: Differentiating somatic anxiety, worry, and concentration disruption. Anxiety Stress and Coping, 22(2), 153-166. https://doi.org/10.1080/10615800802020643