Deakin University

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The applicability of self-regulation theories in sport: Goal adjustment capacities, stress appraisals, coping, and well-being among athletes

journal contribution
posted on 2016-11-01, 00:00 authored by A Nicholls, A Levy, Fraser Carson, M Thompson, J Perry
We examined a model, informed by self-regulation theories from the health psychology literature, which included goal adjustment capacities, appraisals of challenge and threat, coping, and well-being. Two-hundred and twelve athletes from the United Kingdom (n 147)= or Australia (n = 65), who played team (n = 135) or individual sports (n = 77), and competed at international (n = 7), national (n = 11), county (n = 67), club (n = 84), or beginner (n = 43) levels participated in this study. Participants completed measures of goal adjustment capacities and stress appraisals two days before competing. Athletes also completed coping and well-being questionnaires within three hours of their competition ending.
The way an athlete responded to an unattainable goal was associated with his or her well-being in the period leading up to and including the competition. Goal reengagement positively predicted well-being, whereas goal disengagement negatively predicted well-being. Further, goal reengagement was positively associated with challenge appraisals, which in turn was linked to task-oriented coping, and task-oriented coping positively associated with well-being.
When highly-valued goals become unattainable, consultants and coaches could encourage athletes to generate alternative approaches to achieve the same goal or help them develop a completely new goal in order to promote well-being among athletes.



Psychology of sport and exercise




47 - 55




Amsterdam, The Netherlands





Publication classification

C Journal article; C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2016, Elsevier