Intensity and Interpretation of Competitive State Anxiety: Relationship to Performance and Repressive Coping

Gerald J. Jerome, Jean M. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This study examined (a) the predictions of multidimensional anxiety theory, (b) the effect of interpreting anxiety responses as having a debilitative or facultative effect on performance, and (c) the influence of a repressive coping style on the relationship of anxiety to performance in recreational and semi-professional bowlers (N = 158). Regression analyses indicated cognitive intensity had an inverted-U relationship to performance that explained 4.1% of the variance (p <.05). The somatic direction subscale had a positive linear relationship to performance that explained 3.0% of the variance (p <.05). Removing bowlers with a repressive coping style resulted in a stronger and different anxiety-performance relationship. Cognitive intensity kept an inverted-U relationship, but increased the performance variance explained to. 12.6%. Somatic intensity became significant, but with a negative linear relationship that explained 6.1% of performance variance. The findings did not support multi-dimensional anxiety theory and offered only limited support for inclusion of directional interpretation scales.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)236-250
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Applied Sport Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Psychology(all)
  • Applied Psychology

Cite this