Title

Implicit beliefs of ability, approach-avoidance goals and cognitive anxiety among team sport athletes

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Stenling, A, Hassmen, P & Holmstrom, S 2014, 'Implicit beliefs of ability, approach-avoidance goals and cognitive anxiety among team sport athletes', European Journal of Sport Science, vol. 14, no. 7, pp. 720-729.

Published verion available from:

http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17461391.2014.901419

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

People’s implicit beliefs of ability have been suggested as an antecedent of achievement goal adoption, which has in turn been associated with behavioural, cognitive and affective outcomes. This study examined a conditional process model with team sport athletes’ approach-avoidance achievement goals as mediators between their implicit beliefs of sport ability and sport-related cognitive anxiety. We expected gender to moderate the paths from implicit beliefs of ability to approachavoidance goals and from approach-avoidance goals to cognitive anxiety. Team sport athletes with a mean age of 20 years (163 females and 152 males) responded to questionnaires about their implicit beliefs of sport ability, approach-avoidance goals and sport-related cognitive anxiety. Incremental beliefs, gender and the interaction between them predicted masteryapproach goals. Gender also predicted mastery-avoidance goals, with females reporting higher levels than males. Masteryavoidance goals, gender and the interaction between them predicted cognitive anxiety, with females reporting higher levels of anxiety than males. Entity beliefs positively predicted performance-avoidance goals and the interaction between performance-approach and gender predicted anxiety. The indirect effects also showed gender differences in relation to performance-approach goals. Taken together, our results suggest that coaches trying to create a facilitating climate for their male and female athletes may be wise to consider their athletes’ anxiety and achievement goal patterns as these may affect both the athletes’ well-being and performance.