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The effect of self-efficacy on coping behaviours, performance, and emotions in youth swimmers Hadd, Valerie

Abstract

This study investigated how self-efficacy and coping influences performance and performance related emotions in high performance youth swimmers. Lazarus' (1991. 1999) Cognitive Relational-Motivational Theory holds that how people cope with stress is a process that can subsequently influence both performance and emotions. Problemfocused (i.e. efforts to change a situation), emotion-focused (i.e. emotional control), and avoidance (i.e. withdrawal) coping are three coping functions frequently investigated in sport (Crocker & Graham, 1995; Gaudreau & Blondin, 2002). Self-efficacy, the belief that one can generate the necessary actions to achieve a desired outcome (Bandura, 1997), is another significant predictor of performance (Bandura, 1997). Self-efficacy can be viewed as a potential factor influencing the appraisal of a stressful situation and can play a significant role in the selection of coping options. To date, there has only been one exploratory study looking at the influence of self-efficacy on coping behaviors in sport (Haney & Long, 1995). The purpose of the current study was to examine a model that linked self-efficacy beliefs to coping, performance, and emotions in youth swimmers recruited at provincial championships in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec. One hundred seventy-seven participants (aged 14-18 years) volunteered to complete questionnaires prior to and following their race. The pre-race questionnaires included a stress thermometer and self-efficacy scale specific to swimming. The post-race instruments included the Coping Functions Questionnaire (Kowalski & Crocker, 2001) and the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS; Watson, Clark, & Tellegen, 1988). It was expected that self-efficacy would be positively correlated to problemfocused coping and that a positive link would be found between problem-focused coping and performance. Furthermore, it was hypothesized that self-efficacy would positively correlate with performance and that a positive goal/time discrepancy would be associated to positive emotions. Results did not support the expected model. Correlational analysis found a positive relationship between self-efficacy and performance discrepancy (r = .24, p

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