Competitive anxiety in young athletes: Differentiating somatic anxiety, worry, and concentration disruption

J R Grossbard, R E Smith, F L Smoll, Sean P Cumming

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

55 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-166
Number of pages14
JournalAnxiety Stress and Coping
Volume22
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Keywords

  • emotional development
  • children
  • competitive anxiety
  • youth sports

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