Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Trait and State Anxiety: An Investigation of Athletes with Visual Impairment

Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Trait and State Anxiety: An Investigation of Athletes with Visual Impairment

Article excerpt

Sport psychology researchers have put forth a great deal of effort to understand the facilitative and debilitative influences of anxiety on athletic performance. Little attention, however, has been given to the specific nature of anxiety experienced by athletes with disabilities, particularly those who are visually impaired. To gain a deeper understanding of the anxiety experienced by athletes with visual impairment, the researcher employed a mixed method design. Quantitative data were gathered from a sample of 20 male and female goalball players competing in a goalball national championship. The SCAT (Martens, Vealey, & Burton, 1990) and the CSAI-2 (Martens et al., 1990) were administered, and mean scores were compared with normative data. Men (n = 9) and nationally ranked female players (n = 5) exhibited lower Somatic State Anxiety subscale scores (p < .05) as compared to collegiate and elite norms, respectively. Men exhibited higher State Self-Confidence subscale scores and lower SCAT scores as compared to male collegiate norms (p < .05). Two focus groups were conducted by the researcher to supplement the quantitative findings. Each focus group consisted of 4 female participants; 2 nationally ranked players and 2 players who competed at the state level. Participants reported sources of anxiety which were similar to anxiety experienced by nonvisually impaired athletes. Subthemes included anxiety related to game importance, making penalties and mistakes, and injuries. …

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