Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Competition (Psychology); Sports--Psychological aspects;


The purpose of this study was to determine the relative contributions of personality disposition (competitive A-trait), ability (skill level), and attitude (perceived ability, confidence, self-esteem) to state anxiety prior to competition. It was hypothesized that personality disposition (competitive A-trait) would be the strongest predictor of competitive state anxiety prior to competition.

Forty-two Luther College women basketball and softball players were selected for participation in the study. The Sport Competition Anxiety Test (SCAT) was used to assess A-trait. The Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 (CSAI-2) was used to assess three subcomponents of precompetitive state anxiety (cognitive anxiety, somatic anxiety and self-confidence). This study used the CSAI-2 to provide a measure of the independent variable of self-confidence and the measure of the dependent variable of precompetitive state anxiety. Skill level was based on each subject's status as a starter or nonstarter on her respective varsity or junior varsity team membership. SCAT was administered after a midseason practice in each sport at least three days before competition. The CSAI-2 was administered approximately 45 minutes prior to two previously selected varsity and junior varsity basketball and softball games.

The information received from the participants was analyzed using both stepwise and forward, forced-entry methods of multiple regression. Results indicated that self-confidence was the strongest predictor of overall precompetitive state anxiety, cognitive anxiety, and somatic anxiety. A-trait was a significant contributor to overall precompetitive state anxiety and cognitive anxiety, but did not contribute significantly to somatic anxiety. Skill level contributed to a much lesser degree to overall precompetitive state anxiety and did not contribute to either cognitive or somatic anxiety. The results of this study indicate that precompetitive state anxiety can be predicted quite well once scores for self-confidence, A-trait and, to a much lesser degree, skill level are known.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Health, Recreation, and Community Services


School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation

First Advisor

Susann Doody


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Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (80 pages)



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