A path analysis of adolescent athletes' perceived stress reactivity, competition appraisals, emotions, coping, and performance satisfaction
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Authors: Britton, D.M., Kavanagh, E.J. and Polman, R.C.J.
Journal: Frontiers in Psychology
© 2019 Britton, Kavanagh and Polman. This study examined a path analysis of adolescent athletes' individual differences in perceived stress reactivity, competition appraisals, emotions, coping, and performance satisfaction. The study aimed to extend an analysis by Nicholls et al. (2012) and further validate the use of the Perceived Stress Reactivity Scale for Adolescent Athletes (PSRS-AA). Adolescent athletes (N = 229, M age = 18.55, SD = 2.40) completed the PSRS-AA followed by a measure of competition appraisals less than 1 h before a competitive event. Within an hour after the competitive event, participants completed a retrospective assessment of emotions, coping strategies, and subjective performance. A path analysis revealed that perceived stress reactivity had direct and indirect effects on the appraisal of higher stressor intensity, lower perceived control, higher perceived threat, negative emotions, and maladaptive coping. Increased threat, positive and negative emotions, and maladaptive coping were associated with performance satisfaction. However, task-orientated coping was not associated with performance satisfaction. The present study enhances and refines the validity of the PSRS-AA for assessing adolescent athletes' perceived stress reactivity. Further strengths and weaknesses of the present study are discussed, along with recommendations for practitioners aiming to support adolescent athletes with high levels of stress reactivity.