Predicting coping styles as a function of internal and external sources of acute stress in sport among skilled male Saudi Arabian college athletes /

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Alsentali, Ahmed
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Middle Tennessee State University
The purpose of this study was to examine the extent to which coping style can be function of internal and external sources of acute stress, and the extent to which perceived control mediates the relationships between sources of acute stress and coping style. Participants were 370 competitive male college athletes (M age = 21.2 yrs) from Saudi Arabia. The Sport Stress-Appraisal-Coping Style Survey (SSACSS) was constructed to test the hypotheses of two mediational models. For the internal stress model, it was hypothesized that perceive controllability (PCI) would be negatively influenced by perceived intensity (IS), and be positively associated with athletes' coping style (CSI). The results revealed no relationship between IS and PCI (b = -.022, p = .499), however, PCI significantly predicted CSI (b = .208, p = .001). The full effect showed that IS (including PCI in the equation) significantly predicted CSI (b = .391, p less than .001). For indirect relationships among these variables (i.e., when controlling for the mediation of PCI), the relationship between IS and CSI increased slightly (b =.386, p less than .001). This outcome may partially explain the tendency for skilled athlete to report high perceived control when confronting an internal stressor during the contest. In the second mediational model, it was hypothesized that perceive intensity (ES) would be inversely related to perceive controllability (PCE), and PCE would predict coping style (CSI). Results of the first (direct) effect indicated no significant relationship between ES and PCE (b = .089, p = .021). For the other direct effect, PCE significantly predicted CSE ( b = .267, p less than .001). The full effect indicated that ES (including PCE in the equation) was significantly related to CSE ( b = .202, p less than .001). When controlling for PCE, a mediating variable, the results revealed, as predicted, a positive relationship between ES and CSE (b = .178, p less than .001). This finding indicated that athletes tend to use more of an approach than avoidance coping style when confronting external stressors. Further implications suggested assessing the relationship between stress, perceived control, and coping with internal and external sources of acute stress in competitive sport.
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