Dispositional factors related to choking under pressure in sport




Melendres, Lauren Therese

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The purpose of this study was to determine whether or not significant relationships existed between dispositional factors (self-consciousness, anxiety, approach coping style) predictive of choking under pressure in competition with factors associated with healthy psychological functioning (dispositional mindfulness and dimensions of psychological well-being). Choking under pressure has been identified as a factor that not only negatively impacts an athlete’s level of success in competition, but also the athlete’s psychological well-being. Despite these negative effects, minimal interventions exist to address choking under pressure. Mindfulness is a construct that has received attention for its positive effect in the lives of individuals, both in daily living and symptom-relief for a host of issues. As such, the relationships between factors associated with choking-susceptibility, mindfulness, and psychological well-being were examined in the current study to determine if the development of a mindfulness intervention for athletes identified as “choking-susceptible” is appropriate. The sample for this study included 95 Division I athletes from large Southwestern and Western universities. The data were analyzed using univariate and multiple linear regressions and correlational analysis. The findings of this study revealed significant negative relationships between two out of the three dispositional choking-susceptibility factors (self-consciousness and anxiety), mindfulness, and psychological well-being. Given the significance of these findings, the development and evaluation of a mindfulness-based choking intervention is warranted.



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