Self-efficacy, cognitive interference, sport anxiety, and psychological coping skills as predictors of performance in intercollegiate golf
Christensen, Donald Steven
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The present study examined the importance of four psychological constructs, self-efficacy, cognitive interference, sport anxiety, and psychological coping skills, in predicting the performance of 117 men and 79 women intercollegiate golfers in the Pacific-10 Athletic Conference. Prior to the start of the 1997 spring intercollegiate golf season, members of all men's and women's teams in the conference completed a questionnaire which included trait measures of self-efficacy, sport anxiety, athletic coping skills, and social desirability. The coaches at each of these schools rated each of their players' psychological and physical abilities as well using separate rating instruments. At the men's and women's Pac-10 Conference Championships, additional state measures of self-efficacy and cognitive interference were gathered. Outcome measures included the participant's spring tournament stroke average and number of competitive rounds completed. In addition, total score, total birdies (one under par on a hole) or better, and total double-bogeys (two over par on a hole) or worse were calculated for the 60 men and 50 women who participated in the Pac-10 Tournament. Results revealed that each of main psychological factors was significantly correlated with golf performance for men and women. Furthermore, when social desirability ratings were partialed out, correlations of psychological factors with performance were almost universally strengthened. Several of the measures maintained significant correlations with performance even after a measure of physical ability was statistically controlled. Discriminant function analyses revealed that each of the measures was also effective at discriminating the men who participated in the Pac-10 Tournament from those who didn't but similar analyses for the women were not significant. Structural equation modeling provided tentative support for the causal influence of these psychological factors on performance. The implications of this study for future research are discussed.
- Psychology