Re-examining the competitive anxiety trait-state relationship

Sheldon Hanton, Stephen D Mellalieu, Ross Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this study was to examine the multidimensional competitive anxiety trait-state relationship and explore the effects of trait anxiety upon directional interpretations of state responses. Competitive soccer players (N=102) completed the SAS [Smith, Smoll, & Schutz (1990) Anxiety Research 2, 263] and modified CSAI-2 [Martens, Burton, Vealey, Bump, & Smith (1990) In: Martens, Vealey, & Burton, Competitive anxiety in sport. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics] including intensity and direction subscales [Jones & Swain (1992) Perceptual and Motor Skills 74, 46]. High trait anxiety performers responded with significantly greater state anxiety levels than low trait performers. Investigation of directional interpretations of state anxiety symptoms revealed low trait concentration disruption performers perceived state responses as more facilitating than their high trait counterparts. The findings highlight the role of directional interpretations in the experience of competitive state anxiety symptoms in sports that require high levels of perceptual attention.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1125-1136
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2002


  • Competition
  • Trait
  • State
  • Anxiety
  • Facilitation
  • Debilitation
  • Intensity
  • Direction


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