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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Coping effectiveness : the relationship among cognitive appraisals, coping efforts, and perceived performance in female athletes Haney, Colleen Judith


I examined a model of coping effectiveness for female athletes based on Lazarus and Folkman's (1984) theory of stress and coping and Bandura's (1986) social cognitive theory. Coping effectiveness was defined as the relationship among specific types of appraisals (control and self-efficacy) and coping responses (engagement and disengagement) as they relate to perceived performance. Participants were female basketball, fi e l d hockey, and soccer players aged 16 to 28 (M=18.7), who were solicited through their coaches. The contests consisted of 2 rounds of competition either a free-throw for basketball or a penalty shot for field hockey/soccer. Five minutes before each round, primary appraisal (importance and challenge), secondary appraisal (self-efficacy and control), and somatic anxiety were measured. After each round of the contest, coping and performance questionnaires were administered. It was hypothesized that each coping function would be associated with a specific pattern of secondary appraisals and perceived performance. It was also expected that perceptions of success for the first performance would influence appraisals, coping strategies, and the perceived performance of the second contest. Furthermore, it was hypothesized that the control/performance and anxiety/performance relationship would be mediated by self-efficacy . Path analysis using LISREL VI was performed to examine relationships among the variables that describe coping effectiveness (appraisals, coping types, perceived performance). Results indicated a poor fitting model for both Round 1 and 2. However, a revised model was shown to provide an acceptable fit, accounting for 37% of the variance in performance. The overall pattern of relationships for the variables in the model offers some support for the hypothesized model and theoretical support for Bandura's theory of self-efficacy and Lazarus's appraisal/coping theory. Athletes' appraisal of control and type of coping used was related to perceived performance. However, self-efficacy was not related to perceived performance. In addition, perceived performance after the first contest influenced appraisal, which in turn, influenced coping and perceived performance after the second contest. The hypothesized mediational role of self-efficacy was not supported in this study. Implications of these results and suggestions for future research are discussed.

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